Ian Shaw: The Theory of Joy

Vocalist Ian Shaw delivers lyrics with the street smarts of a Rolex salesman in Times Square in this session with boppers Barry Green/p, Mick Hutton/b and Dave Ohm/dr. He’s got a flexible Eddie Jefferson-styled of delivery, mixing straight talk with a wink in the eye on hard swinging material such as “Small Day Tomorrow” and the bluesy and hip read of the Oliver Twist piece “You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two.” He sounds bouncy when the rhythm team goes Latin on “You Fascinate Me” and the slinky “Somewhere Towards Love,” and Ohm drives a mean ride cymbal on the white heat of “All This and Betty Too.”

Shaw taps into an unearthed vein when he goes to the Steve Winwood songbook with a clever and bluesy read of “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys” while closing his album in a vulnerable read with himself at the piano on an urgent and intimate “If You Go Away/Ne Me Quitte Pas.” Gotta like a guy who comes across as the anti-Buble’.

Jazz Village


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