175

Marlena Shaw: Live in Tokyo

Dr. Judith Schlesinger By

Sign in to view read count
Marlena Shaw: Live in Tokyo The very young 441 Records has a great plan: bringing Sony and JVC Japanese releases to wider audiences... and this one is a corker. But then, so is Marlena Shaw, a fascinating performer who takes absolute (yet warm and friendly) command of every audience lucky enough to see her. This live CD, recorded at the B-flat club in Tokyo in 2002, conveys much of the excitement, but necessarily misses a few crucial aspects: her elementally expressive face and body, her often-hilarious patter between tunes, and the audience's sense of breathless anticipation, since Shaw puts her own unpredictable twist on whatever she sings.



In many ways, she's the musical equivalent of Cirque de Soleil, as graceful, risky and engaging, and with a strong undercurrent of sensuality – but whereas the Cirque characters are also slightly distanced and bizarre, Shaw is completely down-to-earth and accessible.



The first female vocalist to sign with Blue Note (in 1972), Shaw has covered the waterfront, including a four-year gig with Basie. There's a joyful, propulsive R&B feel to her up-tempo delivery, and her ballads are intimate and real. Shaw has a strong, flexible voice that can be rounded or rough; she uses a full range of textures to enhance the meaning of a lyric. And she and her band swing like crazy.



There's some fresh material on here - like the charming "Mon Cherie" and "Don't Ask to Stay Until Tomorrow," an anthem to one-night stands from the film "Looking for Mr. Goodbar." Shaw thoroughly funkifies "Feel Like Making Love," that rather sedate Roberta Flack hit, with powerful assistance from tenorist Rickey Woodard, and takes a slow torch to Dinah's "What a Difference a Day Makes." "Until I Met You" (aka the Basie classic, "Corner Pocket") is a delight, while "Round Midnight" gets a wake-up call.



When I played this CD in my car, I found myself grinning in traffic. 'Nuff said?


Track Listing: Ooh Wee - Baby You're the One for Me, Don't Ask to Stay Until Tomorrow, Feel Like Makin' Love, What a Difference a Day Makes, Rose Marie (Mon Cherie), Until I Met You, Round Midnight, My Foolish Heart, Loving You Was Like a Party

Personnel: Marlena Shaw (vocal, composer), Rickey Woodard (tenor sax), Clarence McDonald (piano), Jeff Chambers (bass), Ron Otis (drums)

Title: Live in Tokyo | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: 441 Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Birdhoused CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review Vol. 1
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Meeting My Shadow CD/LP/Track Review Meeting My Shadow
by James Nadal
Published: July 22, 2017
Read No Secrets No Lies CD/LP/Track Review No Secrets No Lies
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 22, 2017
Read 50 CD/LP/Track Review 50
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 2, 2017
Read "Energy - Saul Losada" CD/LP/Track Review Energy - Saul Losada
by Paul Naser
Published: March 15, 2017
Read "Deep" CD/LP/Track Review Deep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 5, 2017
Read "You'll Never Know" CD/LP/Track Review You'll Never Know
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 31, 2017
Read "Jaco Pastorius" CD/LP/Track Review Jaco Pastorius
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: October 17, 2016
Read "The Expensive Train Set" CD/LP/Track Review The Expensive Train Set
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 5, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!