There aren't too many male jazz singers around, and few as individual as Ian Shaw, which makes the arrival of a new CD most welcome. This is Shaw's most personal record to date. All the songs are original, written with guitarist David Preston and make for a programme that is witty and heartfelt. Shaw is enjoying himself, and his delivery on the likes of Northop Road, Pamela and Letter from a Dead Soldier is spot-on. His voice gets better over time and the timbre he brings to these songs points up their emotional content. This is a top-drawer contemporary jazz vocal CD.