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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Ian Shaw and Claire Martin: Joni At 70: The Songs Of Joni Mitchell The Sage: Saturday November 9

Ian Shaw (piano, vocals); Claire Martin (vocals)
What a thoroughly enjoyable concert this turned out to be, what with great singing and piano and self-deprecating comedy, mostly from Ian, who in a parallel life, is also an occasional stand-up comic. 
Hall 2 was almost full on level 1; the stage was set to give an intimate cabaret type feel with a curtained backdrop of muted green, purple, and a curious animal print pattern; Ian seated at the piano and Claire wearing a black jumpsuit and sitting on a high stool or standing at the end of the piano.  
They performed the songs solo, in harmony, or sometimes with alternate lines, a bit of scat, bringing out the latent jazz feel which many of Mitchell’s songs possess.  They did her proud and she in turn gave them some superb lyrics, such as (about loneliness) ‘ the bed’s too big, the frying pan’s too wide’ or ‘along came a lady in lacy sleeves’ or (about growing up) ‘cartwheels turn to carwheels through the town’. The songs included a partly unaccompanied Blue; Light Up; Borderline; My Old Man; Let Your Little Light Shine; The Hissing Of Summer Lawns; Come From The Cold; I Wish I Had A River; Carrie; Amelia; Case Of You; Parking Lot; Centrepiece.  
I'm not sure of all the titles but I think readers can get the feel of the evening from this.  The moderate amount of scat had a tinge of not taking itself too seriously, especially when Ian used his hand over his mouth as a mute at one point.  Claire showed amused modesty when Shaw mentioned, more than once, the fact that she’d been presented with the OBE by Prince Charles.  Then the audience was encouraged to join in a refrain on a couple of songs.  I thought this happened only at folk concerts!  To round off a great evening, three of us ladies had our photo taken with Ian outside the Hall! (l-r: Sarah Trevana, Ann Alex, Ian Shaw, Claire Kelly.)
Ann Alex

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