Middlehope

Rebecca Martin's jazzy vocals lent a sleepy, coquettish charm to the work she did with the now-defunct folk-pop band Once Blue.

Rebecca Martin's jazzy vocals lent a sleepy, coquettish charm to the work she did with the now-defunct folk-pop band Once Blue. So it isn't surprising that her latest project, Middlehope, is a collection comprising mainly jazz chestnuts. The singer, joined by an accomplished group of musicians—including guitarists Steve Cardenas and Kurt Rosenwinkel, Bill McHenry on tenor saxophone, bassist Larry Grenadier, and drummer Jorge Rossy—will make you forget that you've heard these songs before. Graced with a mellow delivery, Martin remains true to the original feel of these classics while also lending her own unhurried scats or dewy, elongated notes. Of particular note is Martin's euphoric take on Richard Rodgers' "No Strings," along with the Rodgers and Hart standard "Bewitched (Bothered & Bewildered)," in which Martin transforms herself into a giddy, lovesick mess. Contact: Freshsoundrecords.com.—KIT
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