Review: The Abbey Road Sessions

Irish Times

Ray Comiskey

Jazz singer Ian Shaw is in ebulliently individual form on these sessions, stamping his personality on a range of songs and on a tight, small band that includes such luminaries as drummer Gene Calderazzo, bassist Peter Ind and pianist Phil Ware. Since he does it without mangling the lyrics for effect, it's perhaps significant that, in a mix of standards, blues and more contemporary songs, the more substantial material - and, in general, the looser, less-arranged approach - bring out the best in him. The urbane, sophisticated wit of Joni Mitchell's Be Cool is grist to his mill, and the sparse duo and trio settings for I Get Along Without You Very Well, Skylark, Darn That Dream and Stairway to the Stars give his considerable interpretive talents plenty of scope, along with robustly swinging versions of Today I Sing The Blues and the witty Obsession.