Rooster_Ties

Finally, a WOODY SHAW thread...

255 posts in this topic

How the hell have we gone this long without a Woody Shaw thread??? So then, finally, here it is…

 

OK, a HUGE side-bonus of the upcoming Andrew Hill "Passing Ships" Conn is that it will have one of my all-time favorite trumpeters on it - Woody Shaw. (I can't wait for October to get here!!!) AND, probably my all-time favorite setting for Woody's playing is when he's in PROGRESSIVE contexts -- like with Andrew Hill, Tyrone Washington, Stanley Cowell, Jackie McLean, or Larry Young.

 

What are your favorite lesser-known Woody Shaw recordings, either as a leader, or as a sideman???

 

To me, Woody strikes me as being very much like Joe Henderson, in that he nearly always played pretty darn well (with maybe with an occasional lapse, here and there) -- and yet he never could quite break through with the kind of success and recognition that he probably deserved - at least based on the quality of the music alone. (And I understand some personal problems and challenges of his hampered his success.)

 

I've read lots about Woody in various threads over the years, but it never hurts to hear more about this incredible player. Did anyone here ever meet him?? I’m sure some of us got to hear him perform 'live', probably on multiple occasions -- though I’m afraid I didn’t even catch the jazz-bug until a couple years after Woody passed away.

 

To help with the discussion, here's a link to a GREAT 'on-line' resource all about Woody's music and life. There's a comprehensive discography/sessionography of his recordings and sideman appearances, and several truly excellent interviews with the man himself (look for the link called "Additional Resources" for the interviews. Check 'em out - they really are something. I've read a couple, and plan to read the rest soon, as we get this thread up and going.)

 

Link: http://www.shout.net/~jmh/shaw/index.htm << this link is long dead

 

2018 EDIT:  Discography seems to live here now (which is what's linked to from the official Woody Shaw website now, as of Sept 2018):

http://50.62.230.18/discography/

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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By the way, in case anyone doesn't yet know the details about "Passing Ships", here they be:

Andrew Hill - Passing Ships (Blue Note Connoisseur) due Oct 7th, 2003

— previously unreleased 1969 session with nine-piece group

— with Joe Farrell-af, ss, ts, ob; Howard Johnson-bcl, tu; Woody Shaw, Dizzy Reece-t; Bob Northern-frh; Julian Priester-tb; Andrew Hill-p; Ron Carter-b; Lenny White-d

I'm practically counting the days...

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Yeah Woody. . . well I like almost all his stuff including boot material I have heard. . . . I'd like to say that I love his Columbia material, his big label break, and feel that he put a special something into that which showed. . . .

As a sideman he did many great dates as well. "Lift Every Voice" shines out for me; it's so unusual a date but so soulful.

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Anyone heard Woody's playing on side 2 of that Walter Bishop Jr 'Coral Keys' LP? Opinions on this one most welcome as I have my eye on a copy of this !

Fave lesser known sessions - 'In My Own Sweet Way' on In & Out and '49th Parallel' under Neil Swainson's name on Concord. Both have really excellent late-career performances from Shaw.

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Great idea for a thread RT. I love Woody and have never been disappointed by anything that I've heard, either as a leader or sideman.

One session that comes to mind that I really like is Lotus Flower on the Enja label. Nice playing by all, particularly Woody and Steve Turre.

I also dig the Mosaic set - it has a nice balance between his smaller and larger working units.

The Muse output is real good too; particularly Little Red's Fantasy.

I've never had an opportunity to hear the infamous Stepping Stones, but I'll probably grab a vinyl copy in the near future since I don't know if it will make it to CD.

As an aside, I recently found out that Woody's sister used to work at my job. I would have loved to speak to her had I known.

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I love everything Woody played on that I've heard so far. CORAL KEYS is worth picking up for sure, Woody is in fine form.

STEPPING STONES - Ralphie Boy, you gotta hear that one. It's SUPERB, one of Woody's best recordings, period.

My lesser know Woody kick-in: Paris Reunion Band - FOR KLOOK (Gazelle), excellent stuff.

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How do the LIVE Vols 1-3 rate with everyone. Are those a good place to start with Shaw or is there a better recommendation?

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I love everything Woody played on that I've heard so far. CORAL KEYS is worth picking up for sure, Woody is in fine form.

STEPPING STONES - Ralphie Boy, you gotta hear that one. It's SUPERB, one of Woody's best recordings, period.

Thanks for the recommendation on this - probably a stupid question anyway as I've yet to hear a less than good recording from Woody (does such a thing exist?) This guy was phenomenally consistent!

The first occasion I saw Woody with Steve Turre it was so outstanding that I was right back there the next night for more. 'Katerina Ballerina', 'Theme For Maxine', 'Lotus Flower' and 'Seventh Avenue' - they played them all. Memorable B) ...

'Stepping Stones' is a must buy on vinyl. Why they didn't bundle this in with the Mosaic beats me. Anyway, it's a good excuse to throw this one on the turntable right now :excited:

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Woody Shaw is a wonderful player. I "discover" him not long time ago when I bought a cd called In My Own Sweet Way from his latest period : it's a real gem. Trumpet and rythm section. Since that time I buy everything I can see from WS, particularly from the 32 jazz series (reissues of his Muse recordings) unfortunately OOP. But I was able to find a few on eBay : Setting Standards, Imagination, Last of the Line, Two more pieces of the puzzle, Little Red's fantasy. All are great music, he can put emotion on standards like few others and his compositions are full of surprises : a hard bop sound but pushed a little further. If you can grab one of those don't hesitate. Also on 32 jazz, sideman for Louis Hayes on The Real Thing and for Neil Swainson on 49th Parallell. Two other great cd's.

I missed the Mosaic set :( but I recently called someone at Mosaic and had the #3 cd with box and booklet for the price of the cd alone. Great bargain.

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Yeah, Woddy! He deserves having his own thread!

I grabbed all the 32 releases some thime ago, after the label had gone - Little Red's Fantasy & Moontrane are fantastic, Iron Man (is this the most out album he made as leader?) and the Berlin as well as his demo-session (the one with Joe Henderson, Larry Young, Herbie Hancock etc) are personal favorites, as is the Mosaic.

Muse/32 had some nice dates with Woody as sideman:

- Louis Hayes: The Real Thing (with René McLean, Ronnie Mathews, Stafford James & Slide Hampton)

- Roy Brooks: The Free Slave (with George Coleman & Hugh Lawson)

Then a nice and probably not too well known CD:

Louis Hayes - Woody Shaw Quintet / Lausanne 1977

Woody Shaw - t/flh

René McLean - ts/ss/fl

Ronnie Mathews - p

Stafford Hames - b

Louis Hayes - d

In Case You Haven't Heard (Shaw) 15:25

Moontrane (Shaw) 15:39

Contemplation (Shorter-arr. Mathews) 8:08 (omit horns)

Jean-Marie (Mathews) 13:35

Bilad As Sudan (McLean) 19:16

Recorded live at Salle d'Epalinges, Lausanne, Switzerland, February 4, 1977.

ubu

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Jazz Trumpeter, Composer Woody Shaw Dead At 44

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By JEFFREY K. PARKER

UPI - Thursday, May 11, 1989 (New York).

Woody Shaw, the imaginitive "post-bop" jazz trumpeter and composer whose left arm was severed in February in a mysterious subway accident, died of kidney failure Wednesday after a long illness. He was 44.

Shaw, whose eyesight had been declining for a decade, tumbled down a stairway Feb. 27 onto the tracks at Brooklyn's Dekalb Avenue subway station where a train struck him, severing his arm. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where his condition deteriorated and he was stricken by pneumonia. Although his pneumonia abated, he continued to suffer kidney pain and died of kidney failure, said his father, Woody Shaw Sr.

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What a sad story. sad.gif

I know Woody was a long-time drug user, and that didn't help in his recovery.

Too bad for his kids...he was still a relativley young man.

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Unfortunately, the name of the compiler of the Woody Shaw discography is misspelled on the listed site. It is Todd Poynor. I've hosted his excellent work on my site since it began.

Mike

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Michael, did I link to the right version of the Woody Shaw stuff?? I know there are multiple copies (at least two that I know of) of the discography/sessionograhy -- that are floating around on the net, and I know I've linked to the wrong one fore.

Any other good Woody Shaw resources to recomend?? (On-line, or otherwise? - meaning books and such??)

Thanks!! -- Tom

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mgraham333 Posted: Aug 21 2003, 02:26 PM   

How do the LIVE Vols 1-3 rate with everyone. Are those a good place to start with Shaw or is there a better recommendation? 

I think these are very fine examples of Woody's playing, especially the last volume. However, if you want to hear live Woody of roughly the same vintage that is even better, find a vinyl copy of STEPPING STONES or have someone make you a burn...it's not hard to find in used stores, goes for 5 buck range. There's an urgency and fire on that one, and an elegance, that exceeds the admittedly excellent live CDs issued by High Note for me. The opening (title) track is what I would play for someone who asked me "What's all the fuss about this Woody Shaw character?" along with "The Moontrane" from Larry Young's UNITY and probably a couple of tracks from the Mosaic box.

Come to think of it, I also prefer BEMSHA SWING (Blue Note), another live recording issued posthumously, to the High Note live discs. Like the outstanding FREE SLAVE (last out on 32 Jazz), BEMSHA teams him with percussionist Roy Brooks - a great matching - and also features Geri Allen in excellent form.

For studio Woody and exposure to his arranging/larger group bag, try ROSEWOOD (Columbia). For studio Muse albums, either SOLID or LITTLE RED'S FANTASY are great, and IMAGINATION is wonderful if you want to linger on his ballad artistry.

I'm also very fond of BLACKSTONE LEGACY (Contemporary), which is shows a look at his earlier style.

But hell, you CANNOT go wrong with Woody, he never released an even remotely bad album. If the High Notes are enticing you, go for them - they'll probably disappear soon and by that time you'll be smitten by the Woody Shaw bug and will regret having passed on them.

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Yes, the site mentioned does link to the most current version of the discography. If there are ever any doubts, check what is on my homepage.

Mike

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Woody is definitely my favorite trumpeter, and to me the last truly great trumpeter in jazz. I highly recommend the Highnote live recordings. They all have their high points, but I like Vol. 3 the best.

I only discovered Woody earlier this year, and was able to snag all of his Muse/32 Jazz recordings before they went out of print. Savoy now owns those recordings and is slowly releasing them.

I did not purchase a copy of the Woody Shaw Mosaic and, of course, I am now regretting it. However, as soon as I am able, I am going to purchase a turntable and get all of the Woody Columbias on vinyl since there is no telling when they will be rereleased on cd.

I also think that Demon's Dance, a Jackie McLean date with Woody on trumpet, would make a wonderful Conn. or RVG. Additionally, If there is enough extra material, it would be great to have a Woody Shaw at the Village Vanguard Mosaic Select. Additionally, there are several other Woody Shaw titles that are now out of print that would make for a superb Mosaic Select.

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I love Woody Shaw!

I saw him in Chapel Hill, NC in the mid 80s and he was outstanding. His set was drenched with passion and fire.

His passing was very sad and unnecessary. What a shame! The guy seemed to have an incredible intellect but something of an inability to deal with life at times (according to Cuscuna in his Mosaic notes). Some days I can empathize and I think that is what makes his artistry so personal.

Hard to pick his best stuff. The Mosaic box is great, as is everthing on Muse/32 Jazz/whatever. I also like his playing with Horace Silver on BN.

Great thread idea!

Eric

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Woody Shaw is darn near my favorite all-time trumpet player. I might rank Clifford Brown just a shade higher, but Woody had greater output.

Don't know about obscure, but probably my favorite Woody Shaw session might be amongst the many excellent 32 jazz reissues. I love "Last of the Line," and "Little Red's Fantasy." He scorches as a sideman on the Louis Hayes and Roy Brooks sessions. I just love Woody Shaw.

Seems to me his death was a result of diabetes. That's probably why the kidney failed. He may have allowed his blood sugar level to rise uncontrolled. That's just a guess on my part.

Woody is also special for carrying the torch of jazz with tremendous integrity through some difficult years for jazz. For that reason alone he will rank high in my book.

God Bless Woody Shaw!

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Poor Woody.

What a life.

I miss hearing new playing from him.

Looking forward to the previously unissued Hill.

Recently managed to find the 2CD set Bemsha Swing.

Amazing!!

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Always liked his first two albums for Contemporary 'Blackstone Legacy' and 'Song of Songs'.

Those came out on in the early '70s. Had started paying attention to him when he played

in Paris with Nathan Davis (and Larry Young on piano!) back in 1964 or 65.

Another great Shaw date is the Dexter Gordon 'Homecoming' album for Columbia when

Dexter 'borrowed' the Woody Shaw band for one of his return to New York.

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My next favorite trumpet player next to Lee Morgan. Woody plays in that distinctive style that twists my mind inside out. So much fluidity and emotion in his playing.

Louis Hayes' The Real Thing is REAL nice and should be reissued by Savoy along with everything Woody recorded under his name for Muse. Last of the Line is excellent.

Edited by Templejazz

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Count me in as a Woody fanatic. The first time I heard him was on a Columbia LP called "Montreaux Summit"- it was a label concert of current Columbia recording artists done in the 70s (Dexter and Woody, Getz, Maynard etc.). Maynard's band was sort of the "house band" and was probably the reason I picked up the side (that's where my interests were at the time). On one tune Maynard was trading w/Woody (talk about "when worlds collide")- needless to say, my eyes were opened and my priorities changed forever. I immediately started to buy anything w/Woody's name on it (starting w/Homecoming), a practice that continues to this day.

There was a series of concerts in the 70s at Iowa State University called "Jazz at the Maintenance Shop"- this was an excellent series and exposed me to many of the "desert island" heavies of jazz such as Bill Evans, Dexter, Woody, Jack DeJohnette, Johnny Griffin and others. I think the Dexter and Evans concerts were released on video. I wish the Woody would be released- it was an amazing performance!

In addition to all the sides mentioned here, I've always loved Horace's "Cape Verdean Blues"- the sextet cuts w/Woody, Joe and J.J.- what a dream band!

And I also like the Blue Notes w/Freddie- that's some of the last listenable Freddie, I'm sorry to say.

I also would have loved to hear Woody and Lee mix it up. Or Woody and Charles Tolliver. I hear a lot of Booker little in Woody as well.

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Favorite Studio Session as Leader -

"Little Red's Fantasy" (Muse/32Jazz/Savoy)

Favorite Studio Sessions as Sideman -

Larry Young - "Unity" (Blue Note)

Jackie McLean - "Demon's Dance" (Blue Note)

Favorite Live Sessions as Leader -

the HighNote Live Vol.s I, II, & III

"Stepping Stones" (Columbia)

Favorite Live Sessions as a Sideman -

Bobby Hutcherson - "Live at Montreux" (Blue Note)

Roy Brooks - "The Free Slave" (Muse/32Jazz)

Mal Waldron - "The Git Go" & "The Seagulls of Kristiansund" (Soul Note)

God I love Woody Shaw......

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