Vocalist, lyricist, composer, a multi-label honor few have in their repertoire, usually involving many years of experimentation and in all cases failures periodically. However when the edges are smoothed out and the curtain calls come with frequency the hard roads are such a minuscule price to pay. Further proof is an example of this sit-n-spin, Gail Marten’s new 2005 release from Jazz Palette called Is It Love, a triumph in lyrics and arrangement, all original from mainstream to Latin.
Adorned with accolades as recent as Is It Love gathering up first in the 2005 UK Songwriting contest, Ms Marten has a unique way about bringing balance to her craft. This can be felt through the way she performs and composes her music. As you filter through the jewel box of Is It Love you experience the eclectic selections and acute sounds that makeup this pleasing production.
Sound manipulation and execution is important to the bondage of moods that the music dictates throughout Ms Marten’s effort. The keyboard tones of Clem Ehoff, her long time sidekick are strong and as if he could read her thoughts; seemingly lighting up the designed moods. Percussion bonds the design and with Marty Knepp, the craft and technique is never compromised. Finally bassist Alfonso Rondon has the classic jazz piece well trained in his hands. Combined the effort and knowledge of all allows for a superb presentation.
Ms. Marten has this latinesque temper piped in throughout this journey of love. Many of the cuts seem to display different attributes and sides to this at time heartless feeling called love. With her exotic sensual tones Ms. Marten can get across what most feel but rarely admit. "Dream With Me" is such an example of pure unfiltered passion-coated lyrics. Her vocals, with eloquence, reach out to that lover inside of all of us. The piano piece just adds that perfect flair of romance to this soft-spoken musical ballad.
For fans of jazz after hours or amid a hidden café with that other set of eyes adjoining yours, this is the music score. Ms. Marten and Ehoff have produced the quintessential songs for those times that one always hopes to dream about. A fine addition to your casual collection and for those special moments where jazz is the only fit!