Wednesday, 20 November 2013 08:48

Ian Shaw - Drawn to all things

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Ian Shaw is a British Jazz singer in the top echelon, and he did venture to create an entire SA-CD with cover versions of a selection of Joni Mitchell's songs.

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Shaw himself is well defined as pure Jazz Artist, and are often mentioned in the same breath as Claire Martin. We speak in other words of well dressed jazz that. And speaking of Claire Martin - she is a guest artist on the song Night Ride Home , a song she and Ian Shaw had stuck to the repertoire of its public tours.

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**** (*)




Linn Records

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But back to Joni Mitchell. In an interview Shaw tells that this release is a project he has worked with for 10 years, and his own characterization of the intentions of this album is "I hope the die-hard Joni fans will only see my album as a body of work that Reflects a complete devotion to composer and poet. " In my ears is the definite peak of this release Shaw's interpretation of A case of you, this song that one can get the impression that all Canadian (and non-Canadian) female singers with jazz-light ambitions have made ​​an interpretation of. Ian Shaw make this something special.

Also low-key Both Sides Now belongs to my favorites, along with Edith and the Kingpin, where he demonstrates a voice modulation that provides strong parallels to Joni`s corresponding exercises in this and many other songs. Talk to me is perhaps the song where things do not work at the very height. I'm not sure if it is because I did not quite manage to detach myself from Joni Mitchell's dancing lightness in the original version, which is one of the highlights of Don Juan's Reckless Daughter. But here I think the far more rocky and punchy performance at Shaw's release seems a bit out of place. No easy task to sing after Joni on this track, and it is perhaps one of the reasons why no one has tried it before. This track can also also serve as an illustration that I prefere Ian Shaw's interpretations when he operates in soft terms, often with limited orchestration. However, I think that's a wrong assumption that he needs to operate far outside the jazz scale for the results to be excellent, well illustrated by ending song Stay in Touch.

So what to say about this album as a whole? Is it holding a quality that justifies telling Joni`s musical stories again? I think so, and Ian Shaw has combined this apparent humility of expression in Joni Mitchell's compositions, and added his own personality in moderate and very musical way. The issue that this in some cases leads to interpretations that are clearly more Jazz than the original design, and other times just a slightly different interpretation, is thus entirely subordinate. This is a record that can be highly recommended to those who have a taste for Joni Mitchell and want to hear a slightly different approach. Or simply a record with good music.

Also the sound quality is well-known quality level from Linn Records. This label has exercised very different approaches to a multi-channel mix, and this time it's high moderation in the use of the surround channels. Restrained but tasteful.

This record review is originally written in 2006 in Norwegian, and translated to English in 2013.

Read 13925 times Last modified on Sunday, 05 January 2014 17:41
Karl Erik Sylthe

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