Jan Wallman - Applause! Applause!, New York, Feb 7, 2001
(about Martin Lass):
"I was really looking forward to hearing Australian violin virtuoso Martin Lass at Don't Tell Mama because I had been told that he was great and that I'd be hearing something very different from the usual cabaret fare. Now you know the usual cabaret fare is what I like. I go to cabaret several times a week because I love it. But I'm always up for something new so I called a friend who is of like mind and invited her to tag along. The only problem was I mixed up the time and when we arrived at a quarter to eight for an eight o'clock show, we discovered that show time was seven p.m. and it was nearly over. We quietly snuck into the back of the room and there on stage was this incredible man making unbelievable music on his violin. My companion, singer Judy Gallagher burst out, "Oh my God, Jan. I know this guy. He sat in at one of Trudi Mann's shows. He's fabulous!" And indeed he is.
Though we only heard three songs, I can tell you that the word 'virtuoso' cannot begin to describe Martin Lass. Originally from the United States, he moved to Australia with his parents at the age of eleven, already a promising violin student. He continued his studies and after graduating from the Sydney Conservatorium, he became second violinist in symphony orchestras. While he had considerable success, in time, he found it confining. Loving gypsy music, jazz and pop, he began to branch out. On a dare, he entered a national television talent contest, walked off with the prize and a new star was born. He went on to appear on every Australian TV show. He made nine records, one of which went gold, played concerts, theater and clubs, won prestigious awards and when he reached the top in Australia, he began touring internationally. He decided to move to New York this past year. We are fortunate to have him and if he has any luck at all, there will soon be a prominent place for him in the American music scene.
He plays with his whole heart and soul and every fiber of his being and his music is amazing. Strongly backed by his musical director Inge Verhoef on piano (she's actually Mrs. Lass) and a very good bass player whose name I didn't catch [Adam Armstrong], he plays a large variety of pop, Broadway, classical, originals, novelty and the most exciting gypsy music I have ever heard.
I could listen to him for hours. In fact, I do because his manager sent me three CD's and I've played them over and over. I don't know what is coming up next for him but I recommend...no, no I INSIST...that you remember the name MARTIN LASS and when you hear of him playing again at Don't Tell Mama or anywhere, go to hear him and take along a group of your friends. They will praise you for it. I know I'll be there. And this time, I'll be on time."