The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS - CORMAC LARKIN

The The­ory of Joy ★★★

Jazz Vil­lage

There’s a fine line be­tween hip and naff, and Ian Shaw seems to de­light in blur­ring it. The singer’s first al­bum for the Jazz Vil­lage la­bel is a clas­sic pi­ano-tri­omeets-singer af­fair, with an im­pres­sive per­for­mance from fiery young pi­anist Barry Green, and though at times Shaw strays per­ilously close to the “hep cat” clichés of yester­jazz, the qual­ity of the singing, the au­then­tic­ity of the per­for­mance, and the in­tel­li­gent choice of ma­te­rial keep the Welsh­man safely on the side of the an­gels. As usual with Shaw, the tunes are a mix of old and young, from Mel Tormé and Michel Le­grand to Jac­ques Brel and Joni Mitchell. A ten­der read­ing of David Bowie’s Where

Are We Now was recorded long be­fore news of the singer’s death broke, but seems pre­sciently ele­giac. ian­shaw.biz

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