Album Review: Shine Sister Shine

John Fordham, The Guardian

23 Nov 2017


One of the most moving performances I ever heard from the gifted British singer Ian Shaw was on the 2015 Jazz for Labour concert, when he held an audience at the Barbican in London spellbound with an account of Somewhere, from West Side Story, dedicated to gay politics. There are comparable moments in this diverse dedication to female vocal stars.

Joni Mitchell's Shine and UK singer-songwriter Gwyneth Herbert's quietly startling lyric to Not the Kind of Girl are both beautifully cherished by Shaw and pianist Barry Green's group.

Shaw's roots in the capriciously agile jazz methods of the late Mark Murphy drive the sassily swinging How Little We Know, and he delivers his moving original Keep Walking (Song for Sara) in both English and French in recognition of its inspiration in his work with the charity Side by Side Refugees.

Maybe a little too much generic pop-soul grooving for some, and perhaps not enough of the quietly fearless intimacy that Shaw is a master of, but it's the work of an impassioned and versatile artist for all that.