Related Reviews
Jazzman
"Elle les aborde avec aisance sur une tessiture très large..."
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...rapt hush punctuated only by applause
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...The delivery was charming, the vocals outstanding
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LondonJazz
Manly's Nina Simone Songbook was a definite hit
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Singer's Singer - In Tune International
"glorious...utterly breathtaking"
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Newbury Today
...as good a set as we have heard
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HiFi.nl
"Een ware ontdekking."
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StereoMojo
"Lifejacket is an intelligent and sophisticated collection of stories..."
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Vortex
"impressive throughout...Warmly recommended."
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In Tune International
"Gill has a warmly evocative vocal style..."
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Record Collector
4 Stars
"a smooth performance"
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Daily Mail
hearing that great voice again (very like Ella Fitzgerald), the years drop away and the lyrics trace patterns on my heart
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Atlanta Audio Society
"seamless vocal artistry"
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Audiophile Audition
4 Stars
"what a voice and delivery!"
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6moons.com
...sometimes a recording just transcends tastes and styles
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Sempre Audio (translation)
"And having reached the last page, leaves you wanting more . . . "
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Sempre Audio
"Und am Ende angelangt, will man mehr davon..."
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Home Theater Hi-Fi, Spirit of Change & Bay Area Reporter
5 Stars
"The voice...is adorable. You've got to hear this fabulous artist."
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Jazzwise
Songs "sung with such intelligence and self-possession".
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Hi-Fi i Muzyka
5 Stars
Record of the Year in the Jazz Vocal category
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Hi-Fi Magazine
Album of the Year 2008!
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Yorkshire Post
Manly is superb, her rich voice bringing the best out of the lyrics...
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The Jazz Breakfast
5 Stars
"It's truly remarkable and truly inspiring to hear a "new" singer who is this good."
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Sunday Post
"...a treat for lovers of top-notch jazz..."
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Scotland on Sunday
3 Stars
...a very feminine, feather-light voice, terrific control and - judging by the selection here - great taste in repertoire and musicians
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Sunday Herald
...the spirit of Ella Fitzgerald is hovering close by
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The Herald
4 Stars
Guy Barker is the trumpet foil here, on a set of songs associated with Ella Fitzgerald. You'd have to be good to pull that concept off, and Gill Manly sure is.
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Coda
Establishes him also as a gifted songwriter.
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Jazz Times
If "Lifejacket" doesn't end up at or very near the top of this year's jazz vocal roster, I'll eat my iPod.
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Atlantic Audio Society
Ian Shaw's first collection of self-penned songs, makes an indelible impression
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The Vortex Website
The focus is firmly and deservedly on Shaw's considerable gift for lyric writing and his own versatile, unmistakable voice. Strongly recommended.
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BBC Website
He's moved from Canada to Camden and he's laying his own life bare.
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Observer Music Monthly
4 Stars
A reminder of what an important talent he is.
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The Scotsman
3 Stars
The (Joni) Mitchell influence is palpable on the songwriting
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Time Out
Shaw is both entertaining and endearing on these self-deprecating Soho stories.
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The Times
Sophisticated story-songs penned by Shaw.
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The Guardian
3 Stars
Shaw's mix of haunting falsettos, jazzy agility and conviction is as classy as ever.
more >>
Yorkshire Post
This is a top-drawer contemporary jazz vocal CD.
more >>
Jazzwise
4 Stars
A sophisticated array of songs, mixing lyrics of wit with melodies that match.
more >>
The Times
easily one of the best vocal efforts of the past 12 months
more >>

Gill Manly and Ian Shaw live at the Purcell Room


29 April 2010
Lesley Pinder

Ian Shaw and Gill Manly are both widely respected figures in the UK jazz scene and I would have been more than happy seeing either one of these performers on stage alone, doing their thing. But to have them both together, performing music from the repertoire of legends Ray Charles and Nina Simone, was an absolute treat.

Shaw opened the show with roaring renditions of Ray Charles' 'You Don't Know Me' and 'Hallelujah I Love Her So'. This was followed by a hilarious introduction where he regaled the audience with a tale of how he and Gill Manly met in a kitchen shop 25 years earlier (only to have Manly tell a different version of events when she arrived on stage). It was instantly clear that, along with being extremely musically gifted, Shaw is an immensely likable and very funny man.

It is true, however, that the two have been friends for a very long time and it was apparent the moment the inimitable Ms Manly joined Shaw on stage. They had an obvious chemistry and their intimate banter added a warm comedic layer to the whole evening. Referring to themselves at one point by the names of Muffin and Ringpiece (I won't go into details!) they are a highly entertaining duo, even when not singing.

Gill Manly's command of the stage was instantaneous - she has an unbelievable vocal range and sings with such pure crisp tone that I wanted to bring her home, sit her in the corner of my room and have her sing me to sleep each night. Shaw's smooth soulful voice is unique and versatile and when the two harmonised together it was a pure delight. Anyone would think they had been singing together for years (something tells me they have!).

Shaw is an accomplished pianist and created some exceptional musical arrangements. There were seamless fusions of songs - 'I Put A Spell On You' and 'Feeling Good' effortlessly flowed from one into the other - and improvisational joys, such as 'None of Us Are Free'.

The highlight for me had to be Ray Charles' 'Heaven Help Us All'. Originally recorded by Stevie Wonder, this gospel and soul inspired rendition had me almost waving my arms in the air unashamedly (quite like the woman sitting in front of me had been for the whole gig!).

I have seen Gill Manly perform once before and she blew me away on that occasion. She did even more at this event to impress upon me what a magnificent performer she is. Having never seen Ian Shaw before, he has found himself a new fan after this show and I will definitely be looking out for more performances from him in the future.

Both Manly and Shaw are performing (separately) at Ronnie Scott's over the next few months and I urge you all to go. These are two performers who are so musically talented that hearing them verges on the sublime and once you've seen them once you will, like me, become a fan.


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Ian ShawIan Shaw
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With a Song in My HeartWith a Song in My Heart