Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Ian Shaw fulfils his life ambition to release an album of originals in 'Lifejacket'. Originally released in 2008 'Lifejacket' has been re-issued as part of Linn's ECHO series which offers a second chance to enjoy the best of the label's award-winning catalogue. Shaw has been interpreting the great songwriters for most of his career; a review of Drawn To All Things posed the question; 'isn't it time Shaw unlocked his own diary?' 'Lifejacket' is an album of highly personal stories and observations, mixing in Ian's love of jazz, folk and classical music. (It is called Lifejacket because of all the pressures to stay afloat in life.) 'Lifejacket' questions the unsteady passage from young man to middle-aged child. Together with co-writer David Preston, Ian explores with humour the themes of drinking, growing older and love; with poignancy the heartache of war; plus a moving tribute to his father: 'A good and simple man'. Songs include 'Forty-Two', a duet with award-winning singer, Liane Carroll, 'Love At First Tequila' - a 'Mack The Knife' for modern-day London which features Julian Siegel, on sax, and a stunning reworking of Rozz Williams' 'Flowers', featuring cellist Gabriella Swallow. 'Lifejacket' cements Shaw's skills as a consummate jazz performer and vocalist, and showcases his hitherto little known talents as an accomplished songwriter.
JazzTimes (p.123) - "[A]ll 13 tracks were written or cowritten by Shaw, and demonstrate an ability to dissect social foibles an ills....Shaw's goal, brilliantly realized, was to hold up his encroaching middle age like a prism and study all its facets."
Audio Mixer: Calum Malcolm.
Recording information: Livingston Studios, London, UK (11/12/2007-11/15/2007).