‘What’s New’, the album (Silent Wish records) was a timely coming together of three players, whose collective interest in ‘the moment’ – i.e. musical improvisation, in cahoots with a true love of classic song forms – makes the live experience of the album, an ever-growing, yet representative gig.
The material is about human connections – friendships, relationships, positive and otherwise – and plunders 80 years of the popular song form. These are new arrangements of songs of love and hope – from the title song of their recording to Bernstein’s “Some Other Time” as well as the Bacharach/David classics “Alfie” and “You’ll Never Get To Heaven” alongside works by Legrand, Jobim and Ellington.
Primarily saxophonist Iain Ballamy’s idea, the exciting young pianist, Jamie Safir was a natural choice as collaborator. He provides both the harmony and drive of this bass and drum-less chamber sound, but also joins in the dazzling flights of sheer improvisation that fires up in this hugely popular show.
Ian Shaw needs no introduction as one of the most important jazz singers and song interpreters of our times. His onstage and recording history with Ballamy is well-documented. They both appeared on ‘In A New York Minute’ with the legendary Cedar Walton in the piano chair. And Ballamy, alongside his own projects (Food, Hungry Ants) has appeared on five Shaw studio sets.
“Three great jazz voices entwining. Captivating.” ~ Robert Elms, BBC Radio London
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