In Love Again is a body of music evincing the mystery of the human “heart” with its inexplicable range of romantic impulse, from fascination to lust to obsession. Throughout the collection, the uncertainty, the falling in and the falling out, the elation and the despair are expressed.
In Love Again opens with the erotic desperation of “Never Let Me Go” followed by the unapologetic confession of “I Fall In Love Too Easily.” Marten's own song “Reinventing Me” (derived from a composition by Clem Ehoff) suggests the lengths to which we will go in the quest of our heart’s desire. Jerry Herman’s poignant “If He Walked Into My Life” is a soul-searching revelation, and “Alice In Wonderland” if offered as a breezy respite from the pain of self-doubt. “Alfie,” ponders the question, “What’s it all about?” and the masterpiece “You Must Believe In Spring” articulates the reply. “I’m Old Fashioned” precedes the tender “Skylark,” while “Like A Lover” offers a Bergman lyric of complete adoration. “Cry Me A River” delivers a bitter, ironic message to a betrayer, and the jaundice is diluted by “An Occasional Man,” a light-hearted paean to plain old-fashioned lust. Near the end we ask “Where Do You Start?” a tour-de-force by Johnny Mandel and the magnificent Bergmans that addresses the dissolution of a established relationship. “Hello Young Lovers” is a salute from a retired player in the game and games of romantic love.
The depth and sensibility of Larry Willis’s minimal arrangements allowed Marten to freely interpret the lyrics and music of In Love Again. His powerful and moving solos provide the eloquent “other side” to their musical dialogue. In Love…Again is dedicated to Shirley Horn, their beloved friend who made this possible.
“As elegant and refreshing as an expertly made Negroni…assured, smoky voice…a haunting, lived-in quality.”
– David Dudley, Urbanite Magazine (May 2010)
“Not every singer can easily achieve intimacy; Gail Marten has thoroughly mastered the art…her latest album is a joy to behold. Gail's strength lies in her deep understanding of the emotions that well-crafted lyrics convey, and above all, her impeccable taste. Her interpretations tend to separate the women from the girls, the professionals from the ingénues, the cabaret hip from the jazz pretenders….”
– Harvey Siders, Jazz Times (March 2010)
“She had us rocking and swaying in their seats, but when she delivered her interpretation of “Alfie,” you could hear a pin drop. …Her own philosophically comedic song, “Reinventing Me,” had the house in stitches, as did “Big Girl Blues,” her catchy original with a first-person, tongue-in-cheek lyric (“I pay my own damn bills and find my own cheap thrills . . .”) She captivated us, skillfully weaving her program with songs of love, meaningful messages and wry humor.” – Gina, Baltimore Jazz Alliance (October 2009)
“You’re transfixed and fascinated by the voice in your ears, a voice of maturity and depth, smooth and airy…Marten proves her phenomenal talent in songs penned by others, but also shines in “Reinventing Me,” a fun, upbeat song that she wrote with lyrics that prove this singer is both wise and clever on top of her passion and raw talent.”
– Valerie Williams, Skope Magazine (January 2010)
“Never sounded better, her phrasing is impeccable, the choice and tracking of the tunes tell a story of a life lived. Her vocals stir your feelings and reach into your heart.” – Barrie Woodey, CHRW Ontario (November 2009)
“Her voice is smooth, mellifluous, and expressive, with a smoky quality that lends poignancy to the lyrics…This album amply demonstrates why Gail, an award-winning songwriter, is so well regarded.” – Liz Fixsen, Baltimore Jazz Alliance (October 2009)
“Her choice of material and the warmth, intelligence, and utter infectiousness of her voice bring joy to these hungry ears. it's just so-o-o nice to find an HONEST singer.”
“Marten is an adept lyricist, pulling interesting little rhymes out of unusual places. You don’t often see wordplay like this unless you’re reading the lyrics of the likes of Porter or Kern.” – Jeremiah Sutherland, Bull Frog Music (October 2008)
“Marten can get across what most feel but rarely admit. “Dream With Me” (from Pure Joy) is such an example of pure unfiltered passion-coated lyrics. Her vocals, with eloquence, reach out to that lover inside of all of us.”
– Karl Stober, Jazz Trenz (October 2005)
“Scintillating, bubbling and brilliant! …Gail Marten not only sings lyrics which tell a story, but recites a vivid prose which demonstrates that she has a hip awareness of life – delivered with a voice of sweetness and verve…Delicious, as the melding of passion and intellect often is…the girl next door dressed in a black sheath!”
Anthony Agostinelli, The Newsletter (January 2003)
“Marten creates a memorable character through her songs — a woman who has seen too much to be naively romantic, but who has enjoyed it too much to forgo love’s pleasures.” – Geoffrey Himes, Patuxent Publishing (July 2001)