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Woody Shaw: Tokyo 1981

Read "Tokyo 1981" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

That trumpeter Woody Shaw is considered “underrated" may be a considerable understatement. Shaw died at age 44 in 1989, but he managed to release 33 recordings as a leader (27 in his lifetime) and worked in collaboration with Gary Bartz, Art Blakey, Chick Corea, Stanley Cowell, Eric Dolphy and most notably with Dexter Gordon, on his 1976 Homecoming: Live at the Village Vanguard (Columbia). His recording, Rosewood (Columbia, 1978), his first major label release, is considered his masterpiece. Shaw's seamlessly ...

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Woody Shaw: The Complete Muse Sessions

Read "Woody Shaw: The Complete Muse Sessions" reviewed by John Kelman

The past couple years have been banner ones for reviving the legacy of Woody Shaw, a trumpeter and composer who--emerging in the early '60s on albums by extant jazz stars like Eric Dolphy, Andrew Hill, McCoy Tyner and Horace Silver, and contributing to on-the-rise names including Larry Young and Chick Corea--has all-too-often been overlooked. Still, with younger horn players like Alex Sipiagin releasing tribute albums like Generations (Criss Cross, 2010), it's clear that, for some, the trumpeter's impact and influence ...

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Woody Shaw: Stepping Stones: Live at the Village Vanguard

Read "Stepping Stones: Live at the Village Vanguard" reviewed by John Kelman

It's one thing to play the right note, it's another to get it; one thing to play a phrase, another to get to its essence. With academic jazz education more accessible than ever, countless aspiring musicians are learning its vernacular. But music, like all art, is more than technique--it's an indefinable truth that can only come from complete immersion and commitment. Learn the language, but without getting on the bandstand every night, playing with as many people in as many ...

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Woody Shaw: Stepping Stones: Live at the Village Vanguard

Read "Stepping Stones: Live at the Village Vanguard" reviewed by Jim Santella

Live straight-ahead jazz doesn't get much better than these two nights when Woody Shaw brought his quintet into the Village Vanguard in August 1978. Trumpet and saxophone improvise with forceful confidence, piano provides the glue that keeps them in a tightly- knit affair, and the rhythmic team of bass and drums exudes a propelling force.

Shaw's inspiring voice introduces “In a Capricornian Way" and provides leadership. His horn leads from a different perspective as the quintet swells with ...

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Woody Shaw: Live Volume Four

Read "Live Volume Four" reviewed by John Kelman

Live Volume Four continues HighNote's ongoing series of live recordings from Todd Barkan's Keystone Korner club from the late '70s and early '80s. While trumpeter Woody Shaw never received the accolades he was due during his relatively short life--he died in '89 at the age of 44--these live recordings paint a picture of an innovator who simply was not fully appreciated.

Given the plethora of players informed by the late Miles Davis, Shaw's influence may not be as acute, but ...

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Woody Shaw (32 Jazz: Imagination

Read "Imagination" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Let Me Reintroduce.... Woody Shaw (1944 – 1989) was a popular yet never fully appreciated trumpeter during the 1970s and 80s. Largely influenced by Freddie Hubbard, Shaw is considered by jazz musicologists to be a bridge between Hard Bop and Avant-garde trumpet playing. He played and recorded with Eric Dolphy, Horace Silver, Dexter Gordon, Andrew Hill, and Jackie McLean. In spite of this exposure, he was overshadowed by other period trumpeters. This is unfortunate, because Shaw is a very exciting ...

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Woody Shaw: Blackstone Legacy

Read "Blackstone Legacy" reviewed by Douglas Payne

Trumpeter Woody Shaw (1944-89) was 26 in 1970 when he recorded this, his official solo debut, for Contemporary Records. Originally a double LP, the six longish originals (four by Shaw and the disc's two best by the keyboardist on the date, George Cables) make it on to one CD due to some imperceptible editing on two tracks. An earlier Shaw solo recording eventually surfaced: a 1965 session featured on 32 Jazz's Last of The Line. But Shaw officially got his ...

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Woody Shaw: Imagination

Read "Imagination" reviewed by Jim Santella

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 ...

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Woody Shaw: Two More Pieces Of The Puzzle

Read "Two More Pieces Of The Puzzle" reviewed by Jim Santella

Recorded in 1976 and 1977, two Muse LPs are reissued in one package: The Woody Shaw Concert Ensemble At The Berliner Jazztage and The Iron Men. Trumpeter Woody Shaw, who passed away in 1989 at the age of forty-four, was blessed with a remarkably pretty trumpet tone. His fast and furious hard bop sound, coupled with excursions into new and advanced harmonic areas, made him a favorite among serious jazz fans.

Recorded live at the Berlin Jazz Festival in 1976, ...

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Woody Shaw: Dark Journey

Read "Dark Journey" reviewed by Robert Spencer

Dark Journey is a 2-CD compilation of some of the best recordings by the great trumpeter Woody Shaw. Tracks are gathered from recordings dating from 1965 to 1987, and most impressive is the breadth of the guest list: Anthony Braxton, Muhal Richard Abrams, Cedar Walton, Kenny Garrett, J. J. Johnson, Joe Henderson, Horace Silver, Larry Young, Elvin Jones, Herbie Hancock, Paul Chambers, and Ron Carter, along with Shavians like Steve Turre and Onaje Allen Gumbs.

Anyone unfamiliar with the astoundingly ...

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Woody Shaw: Last of the Line

Read "Last of the Line" reviewed by Robert Spencer

Last of the Line is a 2-CD reissue of two excellent albums by the chronically underrated trumpeter Woody Shaw: Cassandranite and Love Dance. Cassandranite is a self-produced 1965 (with one track from 1971) session with Joe Henderson on tenor. Larry Young is also present, on piano (not organ), for “Cassandranite" and “Obsequious," after which he gives way to a pulsing Herbie Hancock for “Baloo Baloo," “Three Muses," and “Tetragon." Ron Carter plays bass behind Young, Mr. P. C. (Paul Chambers) ...

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Woody Shaw: The Moontrane

Read "The Moontrane" reviewed by Robert Spencer

In a genre full of tragically short-lived performers, Woody Shaw's story is exceptionally tragic. Legally blind and beset with emotional problems, he was killed in a subway accident in 1989 without ever attaining the recognition attentive listeners knew he deserved. The Mosaic box set of his Columbia recordings a few years ago placed him in a linear development of trumpet players between Hubbard and Marsalis; this was, no doubt, a highly questionable analysis (mainly because it left out Miles Davis ...


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