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Review: Somewhere Towards Love

In Tune International

November 2009

I guess Claire[Martin]'s male equivalent would just have to Ian Shaw as he continues to be lauded in similar jazz circles, with each new album proving a similar challenge. Having relocated to that small but perfectly formed record company overlooking the sea in Seaford, East Sussex, Ian may have chosen a few more familiar standards and a more intimate setting than Claire - with just his own piano for company, but his style proves equally eclectic. However, there is always a pinch of vulnerability in delivery and CLOSE AS PAGES IN A BOOK, IF LOVE WERE ALL, YOU MUST BELIEVE IN SPRING, MEMORIES OF YOU and WHO CAN I TURN TO? are amongst those choices which have already left their imprint elsewhere over the years so can be appreciated as emotional Shaw recreations. His self-written title number is in good company with such treasures, adding the newly written Fran Landesman/Simon Wallace SCARS and JUST HAVING FUN to the mix and reaching out for Nick Cave's gentle INTO MY ARMS before trying out that philosophical hymn to each day HERE'S TO LIFE which since Shirley Horn's less-is-more recording is nowadays reaching the heart and soul of every vocalist worth his/her calling. Being a Welshman, Ian veers towards his roots for the traditional WATCHING THE WHITE WHEAT (BEGEILIO'R GWENITH GWYN) as closing number.