Los Alamitos singer’s style is classic
The Orange County Register
- September 29, 2002 By Steve Eddy
“Write this name down: Soraya Shaw.”
“It’s not in common household use, but that
could well change, and fast.”
“Shaw, of Los Alamitos, just released her first jazz
CD, “Daydreams,” on the Alpha Lyrae Records label.
But jazz is just one part of Shaw’s ouevre.
She began piano lessons at age 4 under the tutelage of her composer
grandmother. Classical voice studies ensued at around 11, as did
an interest in jazz (brother Alex is a horn man).
A graduate of St. Louis University, Shaw has performed Schubert,
Brahms, Mozart and Bach.
So how do you do jazz when your voice has the power to fill an
“I whisper,” said Shaw, cantor at
St. Irenaeus Catholic Church in Cypress as well as for the
St. Vincent de Paul Society.” It’s my voice,
but I m really singing very softly. I don t want to classify
myself. I don t feel like either a jazz singer or a classical
Shaw, who herself teaches voice and piano, is an obvious admirer
of Duke Ellington, with numerous cuts on the CD penned by Ellington
and Billy Strayhorn. And her approach fits the music like a
comfy, snug glove.
The opening cut, “Daydream,” immediately displays
the singer’s range and chops, her pure, sweet, expressive
voice soaring over a light Latin rhythm. “I Let a Song
Go Out of My Heart” is jaunty and jovial, while
“Caravan” is more on the intense, soulful side.
Add some non-Ellington items, like Fats Waller’s
“Ain’t Misbehavin’” and a most sensual
“Body and Soul,” and you have a first- rate, quite
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