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Ian Shaw: The Theory of Joy

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Great jazz singers, like great comedians, are masters of timing. That Ian Shaw is a virtuoso of both disciplines, balancing standup and concert gigs, speaks to the breadth of his genius and to the singularity of his style as a singer. It’s hardly surprising that he’s often classified as a cabaret performer since he so heartily embraces that polished art’s special blend of storytelling élan and vocal dexterity. Always a step beyond jazz singing, he is better described as a jazz-savvy showman.

Also an estimable pianist, arranger and songwriter, he has experimented with everything from acoustic funk to big bands and string quartets. Here, for the first time, he travels the more traditional route of vocalist plus trio, teaming with pianist Barry Green, bassist Mick Hutton and drummer Dave Ohm. As always, the chameleonic Shaw is enthralling.

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