Ian Shaw and Cedar Walton,

"In A New York Minute" (Milestone)

 

 

 

Facing such a short list of contemporary male jazz vocalists with which to
be compared, any lesser jazzman could easily fall into those proven ruts
that leave too many vocalists undistinguished. British-born and an
established talent in Europe, Ian Shaw follows in no one's footsteps with
this his U.S. recording debut. Avoiding all the pitfalls of singing in an
idiom filled with cliché and parody, Shaw's vocals transcend and rediscover
the blues roots set forth by such icons as Eddie Jefferson and Ray Charles,
yet borrow from Mel Tormé as well, and even Al Jarreau. Entering into a
true musical partnership here with Cedar Walton, this is a collection that
epitomizes the term collaboration. With the wisdom of a true master,
Walton knows when less is more as an accompanist, yet doesn't hold back in
making musical statements all his own. Highlights include: "Standing In
The Dark" an inspired, heartfelt blues; "Grandma's Hands" a soulful,
almost spiritual gem that Walton claims as his own; and a fresh, personal
take on "Alfie" an old standard that thankfully can still draw inspired
interpretations.

Personnel: Ian Shaw, vocals; Cedar Walton, piano; David Williams, bass;
Iain Ballamy, saxophones.


Reviewed by Al DeGenova

Editor, After Hours Press

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