Ian Shaw - Drawn to All Things - ejazznews
Recorded in the U.K., vocalist Ian Shaw excerpts compositions from pop-folk and sometimes, jazz legend Joni Mitchell's storied songbook. It's a diverse endeavor as Shaw pours his heart and soul into multifarious jazz-based renditions. In some instances, his swagger and delivery elicits thoughts of legendary vocalist Mark Murphy. However, Shaw's sensitivity to the material and whispery inflections provide a mark of distinction here. And of course the added bonus resides within Linn Records' superb SACD format, audio characteristics. Shaw leads his various aggregations thru buoyant swing vamps, amid a few scat-based movements and vast expressionism. He retains the folksy inferences of Mitchell's works, where female vocalists provide a choral effect on select tracks and a small strings section enamors a given harmony, here and there. On A Case Of You, Shaw sings the lyrics with conviction and a sense of living the storyline. And on Chelsea Morning, he renders a lighter-than-air impetus within the now famous, melodic hook. Overall, this is a superbly produced and acutely envisioned project and one of the finest jazz-related interpretations of Mitchell's songbook to date.