153

Ian Shaw: Soho Stories

Craig Jolley By

Sign in to view read count
Ian Shaw: Soho Stories Ian Shaw swings. It's a dynamic swing—not the usual I'll get comfortable and let the rhythm section carry me. He'll speed through a phrase, pause (leaving out words), take off again, and sing through the end of the phrase into the beginning of the next idea. He likes to punctuate by dropping or jumping an octave. He is equally convincing on ballads where his time scintillates as much as on swing tunes. He'll go for a different emotional feel by singing an entire chorus in falsetto (He may have picked this up from Ray Charles.), usually on a ballad. He communicates his meaning of the lyric but doesn't always stay with the original words. More than most other great singers he prefers to stay in the key he starts in.

Soho Stories is Shaw's seventh CD in ten years of recording, and it's his best. Besides just singing better he is more in touch with the back-up musicians—he's part of the band. His frequent collaborator James Pearson accompanies him on most tunes, giving him a comfortable setting to create in—not that confidence was ever a problem. The arrangements, mostly by Shaw and Pearson for a horn or two and rhythm, are tailored to his musical personality.

Notes on my favorite cuts:

"Dearly Beloved" Takes the first chorus almost nude (only a bass behind him). After that he sinks his teeth into some swinging little big band riffs.

"How Little We Know" (the Hoagy Carmichael ballad, not the Sinatra swinger) Conversational and natural. With a less committed singer the lyrics could sound falsely naive, but Shaw's optimism precludes any doubt.

"If You Could See Me Now" Up-tempo Latin arrangement with maybe a nod toward Mark Murphy. Recomposes the tune rhythmically and melodically. Throws away the lyrics (actually drop-kicks them out of the end zone).

"I Keep Going Back to Joe's" Inspired, funky rhythmic background breaks it up and avoids sogginess. Knowing irony comes through just right without dramatics.


Track Listing: Comes Love; I Never Went Away; Ruby; Dearly Beloved; How Little We Know; A Little Piece of Heaven; I Wished on the Moon; Be Sure I'll Let You Know; If You Could See Me Now; Tomorrow Never Came; I Keep Going Back to Joe's; Happy with the Blues; Rainbow Sleeves.

Personnel: Ian Shaw: vocals, piano; James Pearson: piano; Cedar Walton: piano; Eric Alexander: tenor; Steve Rubie: flute; Bob Kindred: tenor; Lew Soloff: trumpet; Papo Vazquez: trombone; Joe Beck: guitar; Chip Jackson: bass; Mark Fletcher: drums.

Title: Soho Stories | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Milestone


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Company I Keep CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ma De Re Sha CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ask Seek Knock CD/LP/Track Review Ask Seek Knock
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Air and Light and Time and Space CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Rub Out The Word" CD/LP/Track Review Rub Out The Word
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 21, 2016
Read "Together, As One" CD/LP/Track Review Together, As One
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 7, 2016
Read "Celestial Blues: Cosmic, Political and Spiritual Jazz 1970 to 1974" CD/LP/Track Review Celestial Blues: Cosmic, Political and Spiritual Jazz 1970...
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 4, 2016
Read "B3tles: A Soulful Tribute To The Fab Four" CD/LP/Track Review B3tles: A Soulful Tribute To The Fab Four
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: May 8, 2017
Read "Les Deux Versants Se Regardent" CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017

Smart Advertising!

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