PREVIEW: Ian Shaw The Theory of Joy album launch (7th Apr, Nell’s Jazz and Blues Bar, W14)

Ian Shaw. Photo credit: Gerhard Richter

After some earlier showcases and features, the launch of Ian Shaw’s excellent new CD The Theory of Joy is finally here, (writes Mark McKergow, who also introduces the new venue where it will take place).

This 12-track recording (or 15 if you get the option extra double vinyl) shows Ian’s vocal talent to the full. Foregoing his usual solo self-accompaniment, this outing sees the splendid trio of Barry Green (piano), Mick Hutton (double bass) and Dave Ohm (drums) taking care of the instrumental elements, leaving the leader free to focus on singing.

If the CD is anything to go by, we are in for a treat. The Theory of Joy brings together a very interesting mix of material, which is fashioned into a coherent set by the musicianship of all concerned. Expect to find Bowie next to Bart, Joni Mitchell juxtaposed with Clive Gregson, all performed with impeccable jazz style and touch.

The CD also features Shaw originals including the moving My Brother, which has turned into a radio regular and has an accompanying video linking the song to Ian’s work with refugees in Calais, and a new arrangement of Somewhere Towards Love (chosen by both Julian Clary and Molly Parkin for their respective Desert Islands Discs).


The gig takes place at Nell’s Jazz & Blues Bar, a new venue to us. It’s a very short walk from West Kensington tube station and close to the big Tesco on West Cromwell Road. Nell’s is open every evening and has an ambitious music programme in the coming months – probably more blues than jazz on balance, and with plenty to catch the attention of anyone interested in top-line music.

Having entertained the revived Soft Machine Legacy on Friday 1st April,, they are offering the powerful blues singer Kyla Brox launching her new album Throw Away Your Blues on 15 April, with rock/blues guitarist Bernie Marsden the following night. A string of gigs follows stretching to the horizon, including Mud Morganfield (the son of Muddy Waters and an outstanding blues performer himself) on 3 May and even Van Morrison on 15 June. Check out the website listing below for the full programme.

Nell’s Jazz & Blues Bar is at 3 North End Crescent, West Kensington, London W14 8TG. The launch is on Thursday 7th April 2016

LINKS: The Theory of Joy CD review
video of Ian Shaw’s My Brother

Categories: miscellaneous

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