Somewhere Towards Love
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At last, a ballads album from Ian Shaw. Raw, beautiful, and gorgeous. The title track, a new Shaw original, is set to be a standard. Having recorded ten albums over the years in group, big band and orchestral format, this intimate collection of ballads sees Shaw in the studio, alone at the piano. From the poignant title track, composed by Shaw, to Nick Caves Into My Arms, through Eubie Blake, Noel Coward and Michael Legrand and two new Fran Landesman lyrics, this new recording echoes the great jazz vocalists like Mark Murphy, Carmen McRae and Nat Cole as well as the more contemporary singer pianists such as Billy Joel and Randy Newman. The album was recorded and produced by Neal Richardson, producer of Liane Carrolls last 5 releases. The packaging for the album is manufactured according to Splash Point Records green policy, being of recycled board with no plastic. A donation from the proceeds goes to Friends of the Earth. "Best Jazz Vocalist" at the BBC Jazz Awards in 2007 and 2004, Ian Shaw has already amassed a number of highly acclaimed albums and is a popular performer both in the UK and the US. An incredibly colourful character, he has been cited, along with Mark Murphy and Kurt Elling, as one of the world's finest male jazz vocalists. Tracks;1 Close as pages in a book / 2 Somewhere towards love / 3 Company / 4 If love were all / 5 Into my arms / 6 Scars / 7 You must believe in spring / 8 Heres to life / 9 Who can I turn to? / 10 Just having fun / 11 Memories of you / 12 Watching the white wheat (Bugeilio'r gwenith gwyn)
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2006 release 'Drawn To All Things : The Songs Of Joni Mitchell'.
It was a revelation. It's a brave singer indeed who
has the skill and self-belief to take on Ms Mitchell's
repertoire. Mr Shaw sang fourteen of her compositions
and lived to tell the tale! Bravo indeed!
His new album is a small masterpiece. Voice and piano
(he accompanies himself) nothing more, nothing less.
The concentrated intensity of his performances are
riveting. Whether in a light-as-a-feather rendition of
Noel Coward's 'If Love Were All' or the brutally
exposed interpretation of Nick Cave's transcendently
beautiful 'Into My Arms', he remains focussed and wonderfully
attentive to the spirit of his chosen material.
It is an exquisite engagement.
Even an old warhorse like 'Who Can I Turn To ?' comes up
smelling of roses given Mr Shaw's careful love and attention.
His tone is warm and rich and he is not afraid of taking
the occasional risk. Throwing a falsetto line up into the
air with little fear about where it might land.
Final track, a simple but lovely piano arrangement of the
Welsh folk-song 'Watching The White Wheat', gives a gentle
and affectionate nod to his roots and closes the door quietly
on this comsumately conceived and performed collection of songs.
In some ways Mr Shaw might be thought of as a "singer's singer"
but 'Somewhere Toward's Love' really does deliver something
richly rewarding for anyone who might want to take the chance.
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