Ian Show is a man of many talents and professions and had been already crowned The Number One Jazz singer in the UK. Despite of the fact I have my own king chosen already to put on this position it doesn’t change the fact that he belongs to the absolute top few indeed. His output has a quality which most would be jealous for and remains consistent for years on.
This latest songbook is a tricky one. On one side he departs from his Single mode and brings the piano trio to build the set. And the choice of instrumentalist. It is the premium one as well . Repertoire is a mix of songs of different origins. Some of them have been long time along. New make over however given to them as well as the new context brings sometimes very surprising feelings.
An opening Small Day Tomorrow (Bob Dorough) for example has given very fast tempo and modern approach. Piano accompaniment is very well arranged and I like it personally more than ex. recent Jamie Cullum version.
Blossom Daearie‘s You fascinated me So , again speeds up comparing to the original and many other covers too. But phrasing is very motoric and I like the way like an old song fits into the modern life speed.
Joni Mitchell‘s classic In France they Kiss on the Main Street has a nice drive too after jazzy arrangement’s touch with very nice piano culminations and Ian’s story telling like narration with lots of rubatos and rich voice modulations.
Where are we Now first time appeared on Bowie‘s The Next Day, pretty recent album. I like the song a lot as it refers to my favourite Berlin period memories. Lyrics bring mature reflection on life that Bowie nicely bridges with memories from his youth. Shaw kept that feeling perfectly present all the time and somehow enriched it with his own lifespan experience.
This tune mirrors an emotional plot we are entering in My Brother, the piece with an obvious dedication. How Do You Keep the Music Playing ? stays in the same camp mood wise. Beautiful ballad written by Michel Legrand is one of my long time favourite. Even it’s not as long time as some of the other pieces of this puzzle.
The most surprising choice to me is song from Olivier musical You Have got to Pick Up a Pocket or Two. Funny enough it fits the mix quite well. The lyrics after Show’s treatment are coming in such a natural way like it was always the only purpose for them.
Ian’s own All This and Betty Too definitely is a top pick of this recording to me, showing him at his best and clearly explaining why he belongs right to the top. Traffic‘s hit The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys is next in row. Give it a listen and you soon find out why.
Brel‘s Ne Me Quitte Pas is an perfect outro and it frames it all beautifully.