Shaw began to make singing appearances in jazz clubs whenever she could spare the time. The most notable of these appearances was in 1963 when she worked with jazz trumpeter Howard McGhee.
She was supposed to play at the Newport Jazz Festival with McGhee and his band, but left the group after getting into an argument with one of the band members. Later that year, she got an audition with Columbia label talent scout John Hammond. Shaw did not perform well during the audition because she was too nervous.
Undeterred, she continued to play small clubs until 1966. Her career took off in 1966 when she landed a gig with the Playboy Club chain in Chicago. It was through this gig that she met with representatives of the Chess Records music label, and soon signed with them. She released her first two albums on their subsidiary Cadet Records. A 1969 album track “California Soul”, a funk-soul tune written by Ashford & Simpson and originally issued as a single by American pop quintet
The 5th Dimension, later became a staple of the UK rare groove scene. This song has appeared in television commercials for Dockers, KFC and Dodge Ram trucks.. Because of television advert exposure, it may be Shaw’s best known recording in the UK. Unable to find her own style at Chess, she moved to the jazz-oriented Blue Note Recordsin 1972.
In 1977 she released an LP Sweet Beginningson Columbia that contained, arguably, Shaw’s finest moment: Yu Ma / Go Away Little Boy, a medley containing the old Goffin and Carole King standard, originally recorded by Nancy Wilson. The album also contained the track Look At Me, Look At You, popular on the U.K. rare groove scene. She also recorded one of the disco era’s biggest hits, a remake of “Touch Me in the Morning”, also on Columbia Records. source