The Music

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SHAMUS DARK

Through A Glass Darkly – CD digipak album or download

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The follow up album to the critically acclaimed Songs For Suicidal Lovers. With Pete Millward once again arranging and producing, the songs are mostly from the Great American Songbook, but with a few surprises thrown in. Joy Division’s ‘New Dawn Fades’ gets the same brooding treatment accorded to ‘Atmosphere’ on Suicidal Lovers. Even more down-tempo and sad is Elvis Costello’s ‘Almost Blue’. And the final song on the album is by Millward himself – the savage and fractured ‘Smoke’, with pulsating strings and backwards guitar.

In addition to the brilliant arrangements, each track features solo playing by some of the most talented musicians from the world of jazz and classical music. Jens Bunge from Germany adds scintillating harmonica to two songs; Ruth Elder’s violin weaves magic around ‘Laura’, the title song to Otto Preminger’s film noir of the same name; Rob Hughes, after completing a world tour with ABC, layed down some haunting flute to the classic Arlen/Gershwin song, ‘The Gal That Got Away’, originally written for Judy Garland for the film ‘A Star Is Born’; Adrian Sledmere, who also played on Shamus’s last album, Trouble In Paradise, adds shimmering ambient/blues guitar to three songs; Two of the soloists from Suicidal Lovers also appear; Asian guitar legend Eugene Pao plays guitar on three songs, including Joy Division’s ‘New Dawn Fades’; And last but certainly not least, New York trumpeter Michael Kurtz adds to the evocation of sadness and loss on four songs, with stunning solos on ‘The Night We Called It A Day’ and Cahn and Van Heusen’s ‘Only The Lonely’, originally written for Frank Sinatra and the title song to what is often considered his greatest album.


SHAMUS DARK

It Never Entered My Mind – single digital download
(listen & watch the video here)


From the 1940 Broadway show ‘Higher and Higher’, music is by Richard Rogers, with the usual clever and playful lyrics by Lorenz Hart. The song is usually recorded as a slow ballad; notable recordings are by, Julie London, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, Linda Ronstadt and many more luminaries from the 1950’s and 60’s. So then, another classic 1940’s song, here re-imagined for the 21st century.
Musicians on this recording are;
Shamus Dark – vocals
Freddie Smith – violin
Alan Dunn – keyboards and accordion
Andy Dewar – drum programming
PRODUCED BY ANDY DEWAR
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SHAMUS DARK

My Funny Valentine – single digital download
(listen & watch the video here)


Written in 1937 as a show tune for the musical ‘Babes In Arms’, this song has become one of the most well known jazz standards in history. According to Wikipedia, the song has been recorded by over 600 artists and has appeared on 1300 albums! So then, after 82 years since its first appearance, here is a 21st century take on this famous 20th century song, produced by Pete Millward at Drum Studios in Hong Kong and featuring the legendary Asian guitarist, Eugene Pao.

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SHAMUS DARK:

Live jazz in the UK with:

Rick Laughlin – piano and keyboards
Rob Hughes – saxophone
Paul Harvey – guitar

Here’s a live recording of a wonderful old song, written in the 1930’s by Don Raye and Gene De Paul. Shamus is accompanied by Rick Laughlin on piano and keyboards, Rob Hughes, soprano saxophone and Paul Harvey, guitar. This song also features on the Songs For Suicidal Lovers CD digipak album – however, this version is quite different. For details of forthcoming live dates please click here. Bookers and agents, please take note and address any enquiries here


SHAMUS DARK:

Trouble In Paradise – CD digipak album or download

Trouble In Paradise CD Cover

“Trenchcoats, shades, snap-brim hats, open-necked shirts and loose black ties. Not forgetting the cigarettes and alcohol. Vocalist Shamus Dark has a strong line in film noir visuals to complement the selection of songbook classics that appears onTrouble In Paradise. It’s not just the cover photos: the videos that he’s created to accompany many of the songs are also rich with that ’40s B-movie glamor. This is a fine collection—a left-field take on the classics that reminds us how an artist’s vision can throw new light on old favorites.”

Bruce Lindsay AllAboutJazz.com

The above widget player is a promotional teaser for the CD. As with the ‘Songs For Suicidal Lovers’ CD, the emphasis is on songs from the 1930’s and 40’s, but with 20th century arrangements by Rick Laughlin and Shamus. For this project, the digital gizmos and downtempo ambience are ditched (for the moment) in favour of all live playing by some of the most gifted musicians playing in the UK today, including: Rick Laughlin/piano and keyboards, Paul Carmichael/bass, Sean Freeman/sax, Paul Harvey, Adrian Sledmere and Victor Unukovsky/guitars and with Francesco Mendolia and Marc Parnell/drums. This CD teaser track contains snippets from 9 of the 12 tracks.

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SHAMUS DARK

Skylark – single digital download
(listen & watch the video here)

Skylark

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SHAMUS DARK

Trust In Me – single digital download
(listen & watch the video here)

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CELESTIAL

Cloud Songs – CD digipak album or download


The fifth album from this Hong Kong collective features Shamus singing on seven tracks. Other featured vocalists include Adrian Da Silva (of Audio Traffic), May Chan and Marianna Gonzalez. As with the other Celestial releases, this double album is written and produced by Pete Millward and features Eugene Pao on guitar and shakuhachi master Sunny Yeung.
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SHAMUS DARK

Songs For Suicidal Lovers – CD digipak album or download


Reclusive songster Shamus Dark can be heard on his debut album, Songs For Suicidal Lovers, a collection of Noir Classics from the ‘Forties to the ‘Noughties. The album is Produced by Pete Millward and features Asian guitar legend Eugene Pao, New York trumpeter Michael Kurtz and ace harmonica player Dave Packer.

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Or at Amazon.com here

Or at Amazon.co.uk here