To Be Held from Ian Shaw's Greek Street Friday streams and sets the jazz vocals agenda big time

''The most we can expect from the dying light'': Described as ''11 autobiographical portraits of people and places: 1980s London, New York, loving and losing, basement bars, poets, friendships, lovers, near-escapes and far-away places,'' the …

Published: 30 Jun 2023. Updated: 10 months.

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''The most we can expect from the dying light'': Described as ''11 autobiographical portraits of people and places: 1980s London, New York, loving and losing, basement bars, poets, friendships, lovers, near-escapes and far-away places,'' the everything-will be-all-right Americana tinged euphonious 'To Be Held' from top UK jazz singer Ian Shaw's upcoming Greek Street Friday (Silent Wish Records - 1 September release) is streaming and certainly an exciting statement of intent from a singer who always sets the jazz vocals agenda on the London and UK scene whether remaining fixed to ballads and bebop or venturing forth as he does here to explore a wider classic singer-songwriter inspired sphere from his musical hinterland.

The album includes Shaw and Jamie Safir co-writes and a cover of Rickie Lee Jones' ‘Blinded By The Hunt’ while the first single takes inspiration from a Dick Cavett Show Truman Capote interview. Recorded at Hornsey studio Livingston and Bowes Park's Cowshed north of the river the great Ian Thomas is at the kit - see top UK jazz drummers - on guitar is long term collaborator David Preston - read a review of Preston's Purple/Black Vol. 1 - and on saxophone is Iain ''Balloon Man'' Ballamy with whom the Mark Murphy and Joni Mitchell influenced Shaw collaborated along with pianist Jamie Safir on their excellent 2020 album What's New. Safir co-produces Greek Street Friday as well as writing the album along with Ian.

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Greek Street Friday is to be launched in Frith Street at Ronnie Scott's just steps away from Greek Street (pictured above near the Soho Square end) - on 31 August and 1 September riffing on the ''ask me'' song 'To Be Held' lyrics ''over gin and Joni'' at the end of the day

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Anoushka Shankar, Stolen Moments, Leiter ****

Not a new version of the Oliver Nelson Blues and the Abstract Truth classic of the same name in case - dear jazzheads with still intact and largely operational memories - you were wondering. That matters not a jot. The piece is a vamp, a raga in a …

Published: 30 Jun 2023. Updated: 10 months.

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Not a new version of the Oliver Nelson Blues and the Abstract Truth classic of the same name in case - dear jazzheads with still intact and largely operational memories - you were wondering. That matters not a jot. The piece is a vamp, a raga in a certain sense but not at all a strict exposition that spreads its melodic tentacles admirably. The great sitarist Anoushka Shankar is here on a co-write with Arooj Aftab - check out Aftab on one of 2023's most notable jazz albums Love in Exile with the great Vijay Iyer and the deft Moogian contours of Shahzad Ismaily, one of the year's greatest releases half way in.

Texturally it's accordion from Magda Giannikou and neo-minimalist electronics boffin Nils Frahm on harmonium and harmonica in the underlay. All the lead single lines are from Shankar and it's an absorbing arc she traces. Speaking of track producer Aftab, Shankar says: ''I love the genre-fluid world she creates with thoughtful arrangements and sonic spaces. It’s something I also value in my own work, but she does it differently. I was really drawn to that different voice, that different colour.” Out today. From October release Chapter I: Forever and Now Anoushka Shankar, photo: detail from the art