“Luminous...shimmering...stimulating...pure intoxicating jazz!”
Breeeeeeathe! Breathe deep.
It’s easier to do while taking in the sounds of vocalist
Soraya Shaw’s debut CD “Daydreams.”
In today’s hectic world, this soothing collection of jazz
standards beautifully sets the mood for relaxation and romance.
Shaw’s crystalline and ethereal vocals envelop timeless tunes such as
“Night and Day,” “Body and Soul,” “Ain’t
Misbehavin,” and “I Let A Song Go Out of My Heart.”
Her convincing and sensual delivery defines her as a modern-day diva of
classic love songs.
“The words to these songs are so relatable and they all have an
element of romance,” said Shaw. “They have strong
melodies and beautiful chord structures behind them. I think people
always appreciate a great melody with words that strike a chord in their
Before Shaw set foot in the studio to record “Daydreams,”
she spent a great deal of time contemplating the stylistic elements of the
project. The Missouri native wanted to put a new and exciting spin on the
old tunes, while staying true to their original spirit.
When the timing felt right, Soraya approached several acclaimed jazz musicians to assist her in putting the songs together. She
also hired engineer / producer Wayne Cook, who is a former member of the 1970s
rock group Player. In the studio, Cook has engineered projects
for groups such as Manhattan Transfer and Yellow Jackets.
“I had a lot of confidence in everyone that worked on my record,” said
Shaw, a resident of Los Angeles. “Even though I was making all the
final decisions, I felt as though I could still lean on them for support.
I knew that whatever suggestions they would make would be good.”
Since childhood, Shaw has had a passion for Latin Music. That
influence is brilliantly displayed on her CD. Tunes such as
“Body and Soul,” and the title track, “Daydream,”
combine traditional jazz arrangement with strains of sambas and bossa novas.
Shaw also is influenced by her training in classical music.
After graduating from Saint Louis University in the mid-1990s with a
bachelor’s degree in fine and performing arts, she considered a career
as an opera singer.
During that time, Shaw showcased her 3 ½ octave range by
singing in classical music recitals. There, she performed pieces
by composers such as
She was also featured in productions under the direction
of internationally renowned opera director
As Shaw forges ahead with a clear idea of her artistic identity, she plans
to continue to uniquely re-create the music of the 1930s and ’40s.
She says she not only desires to keep the tradition of classic tunes alive, but also wants to set a new standard for ingenuity and creativity in her genre.
“As I was working on “Daydreams,” I was thinking ahead
about the next CD,” said Shaw, who has studied under the same instructor
as famed opera singer Jessye Norman. “It will definitely be another
album of standards.”
“I enjoy performing and recording music that is worthwhile to listen to.
These classic songs have held up remarkably over time and never seem to go out of style.”