Related Reviews

... so musically talented that hearing them verges on the sublime
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...The delivery was charming, the vocals outstanding
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StereoMojo
"Lifejacket is an intelligent and sophisticated collection of stories..."
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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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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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Yorkshire Post
This is a top-drawer contemporary jazz vocal CD.
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The Guardian
3 Stars
Shaw's mix of haunting falsettos, jazzy agility and conviction is as classy as ever.
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Ian Shaw - Lifejacket - Jazzwise


01 April 2008
Jazzwise
Andy Robson
4 Stars

Although Shaw emphasises the "folk" influences on his first album of mainly self-written material, panic not, he's not taken to sticking his finger in his ear and wearing clogs. "Lifejacket" is a sophisticated array of songs, mixing lyrics of wit with melodies that match. The emotional palate ranges from the riotous but tear-tinged Forty Two (aided by a heart tugging, bottle lugging performance from Liane Carroll) through to the gently loving elegy to Shaw's father, A Good and Simple Man. Along the way there's scurrilous tales of London life, meditations (but never sentimental ones) on exile from his homeland, and songs of loss, pain and the certain sweet surprise of love. Shaw folds many influences into his broad aesthetic, sucking in Joni, soul, glam, Cole Porter and brass bands. It helps that he has a superb band of old but never complacent acquaintances. Guy Barker shines, militarily precise on A Good and Simple Man or doubling Shaw's boppish lines on She's Loaded. David Preston too, who had the final production say, is a vital voice in the instrumental mix, lithe, funky and with as wide an emotional range as Shaw. Some songs may seem over-knotted melodically, while Shaw himself worried that doing all the harmonies might have over-egged the production pudding. But overall, this is a gem of a recording, and hopefully not a one-off peek at Shaw the singer-songwriter. More, please.
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