Best Jazz Vocalist” at the BBC Jazz Awards in 2007 and 2004, and this year nominated in the Best UK Vocalist category at the JazzFM awards, Ian Shaw has already amassed a number of highly acclaimed intentionally released albums and is a popular performer both in the UK and the US. He has been cited, along with Mark Murphy and Kurt Elling, as one of the world’s finest male jazz vocalists.
Shaw’s current release, his 13th studio album, A Ghost In Every Bar, The Lyrics Of Fran Landesman (Splash Point Records), has been exceptionally well received in Europe and America (see reviews). The recording, made in April 2012, fulfilled a long-standing promise made to the late poet/lyricist Landesman to make an album devoted to her work. Ian was one of her favourite singers and his past discography includes many of her songs.
In the summer of 2010 Shaw joined an historical legacy of artists and recorded his first Abbey Road studio album. Using a personal blueprint connection in the shape of legendary bassist Peter Ind, Shaw and his young guitarist collaborator, David Preston, assembled a stellar, international, cross-generational band resulting in a recording that led Jamie Cullum to say “the incomparable Ian Shaw… absolutely fantastic” and reflects Shaw’s position as one of the world’s leading jazz singers.
His acclaimed 2006 album Drawn To All Things - The Songs Of Joni Mitchell, saw him “Praised far and wide as the single greatest male jazz vocalist Britain has to offer” by Jazz Times. This was followed in 2008 by the autobiographical collection co-penned with David Preston, Lifejacket, also on Linn Records. In 2009 Shaw recorded his long-awaited solo album, Somewhere Towards Love (Splash Point Records) which continues to represent beautifully his increasingly popular solo shows.
Collaborators over the years have been many and include Quincy Jones, Abudullah Ibrahim, Guy Barker, Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor, Iain Ballamy, Mornington Lockett, Barb Jungr, Cleo Laine, John Dankworth, Cedar Walton, Joe Lovano and Joe Beck. Shaw’s ongoing and highly popular collaboration is a celebrated duet show with Claire Martin, the UK’s finest female jazz singer (he also guested on her 2002 album Too Darn Hot! (Linn AKD 243)). Together they have toured the world in an intimate duo setting with Shaw playing piano and with the BBC Big Band. They co-hosted the 2004 BBC Jazz Awards.