175

Marlena Shaw: Lookin' for Love

Dr. Judith Schlesinger By

Sign in to view read count
Marlena Shaw: Lookin' for Love In today's garden of vocalists, there are many pretty flowers. Sweet and delicate, they line up in perfumed rows, but many are unlikely to make it past the first frost. Then there's the flowering tree, standing apart, with its roots deeply anchored in the ground—this one endures every weather, delivering the soulful beauty and reassurance of the survivor. That's Marlena Shaw.



Shaw sings with the ease of absolute mastery, and each feeling she expresses rings true: she's been there, and more than once. But this doesn't mean her music is heavy. Her voice is warm and inviting, her time and phrasing impeccable, and where others might communicate pain and despair, she offers wisdom and hope (see, for example, her calm, lovely delivery of "For All We Know" and "Everything Must Change").



The selections on Lookin' for Love go down easy—tasty gems with an R&B flavor that's enhanced each time David Hazeltine hits the Fender Rhodes. I especially liked Shaw's up-tempo take on "Here's to Life," which emphasizes the celebratory nature of the lyrics (unlike the dirgey pace of Shirley Horn's classic version), and her "What a Wonderful World," which takes all the schmaltz out of Louis's hit and makes it prayerful. Another highlight is the finger-snapping pace of "Sweet Georgia Brown," followed by a moving piano/voice duet on "You Don't Know What Love Is."



No flavor-of-the-month singing here—this is fine, vintage wine, served in multifaceted crystal.


Track Listing: Hope in a Hopeless World, New York State of Mind, For All We Know, Just the Two of Us, Everything Must Change, Here's to Life, Easy Living, Mercy, Mercy, Mercy, What a Wonderful World, Sweet Georgia Brown, You Don't Know What Love Is

Personnel: Marlena Shaw (vocals), David Hazeltine (piano, Fender-Rhodes), Jeff Chambers (bass), Lenny Robinson (drums), Saoli Sendo (percussion)

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: 441 Records | Style: Latin/World


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Faith" CD/LP/Track Review Faith
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: May 9, 2016
Read "Bridges From The East" CD/LP/Track Review Bridges From The East
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 29, 2016
Read "A Moment In Time" CD/LP/Track Review A Moment In Time
by James Nadal
Published: July 21, 2016
Read "The Way You Say It" CD/LP/Track Review The Way You Say It
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 26, 2016
Read "Eastern Smiles" CD/LP/Track Review Eastern Smiles
by Ian Patterson
Published: August 21, 2016
Read "Live In Ludwigshafen 1961" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Ludwigshafen 1961
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!