Music Reviews
Johnny Martin

Johnny Martin

Nothing Personal

Warning Voice Music

The music industry will lead you to believe that swing is dead; then again, that’s what they were saying for the 40 or so years before the genre’s short-lived revival in the late ’90s. The truth is, there will always be an audience for it – the young acts who adopted the sound a few years back merely made the masses conscious of it, giving it an alternative seal of approval.

Johnny Martin, from Portland, Oregon, has a voice made for this style. He has a handsome, romantic croon that conveys respect for the material. Swing isn’t easy to pull off. One false move and it can drag the track down to parody. Luckily, Martin is aware of this; he doesn’t take himself too seriously, and he isn’t afraid of showing his sense of humor. For a live record, this has crisp sound quality. The instrumentation is vividly recorded, and Martin is a born entertainer, knowing how to treat a crowd.

Although Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” has been covered numerous times before, it manages to sound fresh here; it fits the mood and context of the album. This is a CD that should be listened to when life seems to have hit a snag, because the good vibrations that Martin and his group emanate are truly infectious. It has everything you’d expect from a Frank Sinatra-honed singer –including a remake of “Fly Me to the Moon” – and provides hours of simple pleasures.

Johnny Martin:

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