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Ian Shaw - Drawn to All Things - BBC Interactive

01 May 2006
BBC Interactive
Kathryn Shackleton

Ian Shaw, ex stand-up comedian and award-winning jazz vocalist, has been a Joni Mitchell fan since his teens. With 'Drawn to All Things' he takes her canvas of angsty real life tableaux and stretches it over a jazz frame. It works. Beautifully.
Shaw captures the poetry in Joni's songs with an eye-watering vocal range and bucketloads of soul. From the funky "Talk to Me" to "River"'s intimacy and nostalgia, the arrangements by Shaw and pianist Janette Mason are uncluttered but never simple. Nigel Hitchcock's sax is Brecker-like on "Both Sides Now", while Lea Delaria's robust scatting and Claire Martin's cool elegance light up "Harlem In Havana" and "Night Ride Home".
If you're into jazz but not Joni, don't be put off. Quality musicians and stylish scoring make this a superb listen.
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