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.

| Record Label: Milestone | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read Welcome to Swingsville! CD/LP/Track Review Welcome to Swingsville!
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 26, 2017
Read Points of View CD/LP/Track Review Points of View
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 26, 2017
Read Migration Blues CD/LP/Track Review Migration Blues
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 26, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 26, 2017
Read N.O. Escape CD/LP/Track Review N.O. Escape
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 26, 2017
Read Reflections CD/LP/Track Review Reflections
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 25, 2017
Read "Omío" CD/LP/Track Review Omío
by James Nadal
Published: August 31, 2016
Read "April" CD/LP/Track Review April
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 29, 2017
Read "From Two Balconies" CD/LP/Track Review From Two Balconies
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 21, 2017
Read "Rumi Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Rumi Songs
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 4, 2016
Read "Stinger" CD/LP/Track Review Stinger
by Joe Gatto
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "Song of the Free Will" CD/LP/Track Review Song of the Free Will
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 16, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: DOT TIME RECORDS | BUT IT  

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!