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Ian Shaw: Drawn to All Things

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Even if I didn’t adore the way he sings, I’d be hard pressed not to like Ian Shaw. Praised far and wide as the single greatest male jazz vocalist the United Kingdom has to offer, he remains self-effacing (particularly about his past recording accomplishments), sardonic, frankly outspoken, deliciously witty and wonderfully wise.

Now, newly signed to Linn Records, the Welshman who accurately and admirably praises Jamie Cullum for setting jazz singing free from its “dinner jacket” mold is venturing where even the boldest rarely go by serving up an entire platter of Joni Mitchell covers. Apart from a richly contented “Chelsea Morning” and a satin-lined “Both Sides Now,” don’t go looking for “Big Yellow Taxi,” “Help Me,” “Free Man in Paris” or other of the inimitable Canadian singer-songwriter’s most recognizable tunes.

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