Ian Shaw is a jazz singer. This simple description is accurate--it's how Shaw refers to himself--but it falls well short of doing the man justice. Ian Shaw is one of the most distinctive, original and creative jazz singers on the scene: he is a talented pianist and songwriter with a knack for working with top-quality musicians, an ability to seek out and cover some of the finest songs in contemporary music, and a showmanship that ensures that his live performances can raise tears of laughter as well as tears of sadness.
Since the early 1990s, Shaw has released 11 albums as leader or co-leader--a diverse collection of recordings featuring songs from the Great American Songbook and from major writers such as Joni Mitchell and Nick Cave. No two albums share the same musicians or the same instrumentation: each one is a departure from its predecessor, yet Shaw's voice, the one ever-present element, makes them all distinctly recognizable as his own. Shaw's development as a musician is equally distinct and perhaps gives some clue to the way in which he works, mixing free jazz influences with comedy and piano bars.
AAJ Contributor Bruce Lindsay spoke with Shaw about his latest CD, Somewhere Towards Love (Splash Point Records, 2009), drawing material from sources as diverse as Joni Mitchell and Noel Coward, and how he has gradually honed his art, turning him into one of England's most compelling jazz singers.
Check out Ian Shaw: From Free Jazz to Noel Coward at AAJ today!
For more information contact All About Jazz.