Girl Talk and Ian Shaws Songs of Joni Mitchell Available in SACD Surround Sound

Linn Records has released new Surround Sound Super Audio CD albums featuring Ian Shaw and the Girl Talk revue. According to Linn, both discs are doing quite well and at last check, the Ian Shaw Super Audio CD was actually sold out in its first production run!

While Linn is best known for their high quality audiophile disc players, amplifiers, speakers and systems, they have also been one of Europe’s early players in the Super Audio CD market as well. To date, Linn Records has issued almost 60 SACDs that feature Jazz, Classical and Scottish music. While their Super Audio CD releases were initially available only in Europe, they are now released worldwide as is the case with their two newest Super Audio CDs. Here’s more information on these releases.

Drawn To All Things: The Songs of Joni Mitchell
Ian Shaw
SACD Surround Sound/SACD Stereo/HDCD Encoded CD Audio

(Linn Records AKD 276)

Drawn to All Things is Ian Shaw’s debut album on Linn Records and has been released as a Single Inventory Hybrid Surround Sound SACD. Shaw is a well known jazz pianist and singer who won the Best Jazz Vocalist Award at the BBC Jazz Awards event in 2004. The album features Shaw performing 14 of Joni Mitchell’s songs with an ensemble of jazz performers, trumpeter Guy Barker, the Tapestry Strings and guest vocalists Lea De Laria and Claire Martin.

The album was produced by Richard Cottle and engineered by John Gallen with SACD mixing and mastering by Ben Turner and Philip Hobbs at Finesplice in the U.K. The SACD was made by Sony DADC at their hybrid SACD replication line in Austria.

Shaw says that “the Songs I’ve chosen for this session are, without doubt, beautifully composed popular song forms. The imagery is personal yet universal, and I hope that by re-arranging and scoring them for what is essentially an enduring jazz format – piano, bass and drums – I haven’t taken away from their original compositional greatness.”

Drawn to All Things features some wonderful interpretations of Micthell’s compositions. Shaw brings a jazz sensibility to each song and while the lyrics and melody are familiar, he gives each track a unique treatment. The Surround Sound mix is from the very ambient school where all of the music is played in the front channels and only faint ambience eminates from the surround channels.

Album Musicians
Ian Shaw – Vocals, Piano, Electric Piano
Janette Mason – Piano
Tim Lapthorn – Piano
Simon Little – Bass
Mark Fletcher – Drums
Miles Bould – Percussion
Guy Barker – Trumpet
Nigel Hitchcock – Saxophone
David Preston – Guitar
Jim Mullen – Guitar
Richard Cottle – Additional Keyboards
Lea De Laria – Guest Vocalist
Claire Martin – Guest Vocalist

The Tapestry Strings
Andrew Haveron – Violin
Frances Andrade – Violin
Levine Andrade – Viola
Bozidar Vukotic – Cello

Album Tracks
1. Jericho
2. Moon at the Window
3. Night in the City
4. Edith and the Kingpin
5. Harlem in Havana (with Lea De Laria)
6. A Case of You
7. Barangrill
8. Chelsea Morning
9. Love or Money
10. Talk to Me
11. River
12. Night Ride Home (with Claire Martin)
13. Both Sides Now
14. Stay in Touch

Girl Talk
Mari Wilson, Barb Jungr & Claire Martin
SACD Surround Sound/SACD Stereo/HDCD Encoded CD Audio

(Linn Records AKD 279)

Girl Talk is a collection of 23 songs made famous by female vocalists and girl groups from musical genres including “Bacharach, Sondheim and Motown”. The album features a trio made up of two Linn Records performers – Jazz Singer Claire Martin and Cabaret Singer Barb Jungr – along with Pop Singer Mari Wilson. The trio hooked up for a series of performances in the U.K. under the banner of “Girl Talk Divas” and has now recorded this album of favorite songs from their work as a trio. (Apparently the concept is a hit as the trio now has a web site – – and provides booking information on the back cover of this disc.)

Girl Talk was recorded at Livingston Studios in London on September 13 and 14, 2005. It was produced by Adrian York (who also serves as the trio’s Musical Director and Pianist) and engineered by Calum Malcolm and Donald Clark. The SACD was mixed and mastered by Philip Hobbs and Julia Thomas. The SACD was made by Sony DADC at their hybrid SACD replication line in Austria.

Linn Records describes the album as “Three divas give their all in silk and sequins, pinnies and rubber gloves. Marriage, love and kitchen equipment combine in this hysterical, fabulously sung show by Britain’s best dressed divas. Join three gorgeous gals, dishin’ the dirt and doin’ the housework. If the ‘Desparate Housewifes’ ever needed a soundtrack, this would be it!”

Listening to Girl Talk, I’d say that the trio provides some very upbeat, fun and at times “cheeky” takes on these well known songs from several different musical genres. As with the Ian Shaw SACD, the Surround Sound tracks are very ambient with the music focused in the front channels.

Album Tracks
1. Girls Talk
2. Doctor’s Orders
3. Walkin’ Miracle
4. Different For Girls
5. Substitute
6. Wives and Lovers
7. Keep Young and Beautiful
8. My Guy
9. Terry
10. You Keep Me Hangin’ On
11. Girl Talk
12. Wishin’ and Hopin’
13. Ladies Who Lunch
14. I Enjoy Being a Girl
15. A Woman’s Touch
16. Single Girl
17. D.I.V.O.R.C.E.
18. Let’s Jump The Broomstick
19. Chapel of Love
20. It Should’ve Been Me
21. When Do the Bells Ring for Me
22. Needle in a Haystack
23. I’m Gonna Make You Mine

Linn’s new Surround Sound SACDs are now available in Europe and the U.S. They are also available on a number of web sites that carry Super Audio CDs including Acoustic Sounds, Elusive Disc, Music Direct and Audiophile Resource in the U.S. They can also be found and purchased from the Linn Records web site as well as on web sites and stores in Europe.