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Woody Shaw: Imagination

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Originally released by Muse in 1987, this album features the talented quintet of trumpeter Woody Shaw, trombonist Steve Turre, pianist Kirk Lightsey, bassist Ray Drummond, and drummer Carl Allen. Steve Turre, who worked with Woody Shaw for about 16 years, had already developed the same sort of natural style for which we remember Shaw. In his original liner notes, Howard Mandel says of the trumpeter, "Clarity and economy are his goals; frills and flourishes are stripped away so the essentials stand out".

Two-thirds of the session is lively hard bop teamwork; the other one-third is expressive ballad lyricism. "Imagination and "Stormy Weather" allow much space for the trumpeter’s clear tone and heartfelt melodies to ring out long and true. "Stormy Weather" features Turre’s vocal-like plunger mute response to Shaw’s plaintive call.

The quintet executes the up-tempo bebop standards perfectly, with both Shaw and Turre showing some of their "outside" improvisation preferences. Lightsey, Drummond, and Allen in turn share the spotlight as familiar standards "Dat Dere" and "If I Were a Bell" press on at a sturdy pace. Turre’s "Steve’s Blues" wraps up the session in the same hard bop spirit. Recommended.

Track Listing: If I Were A Bell; Imagination; Dat Dere; You and the Night and the Music; Stormy Weather; Steve

Record Label: 32 Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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