Woody Shaw

woody 3Woody Herman Shaw was born on December 24, 1944 in Laurinburg, NC, and raised in Newark, NJ. He started playing the trumpet at age 11 and two years later he began his professional career, playing with a variety of local bands in Newark. Woody never finished high school, but received valuable musical schooling through his work with local jazzmen like organist Larry Young and saxophonist Tyrone Washington. At 18, he had a chance to perform with Latin-jazz pioneer Willie Bobo at a club called the Blue Coronet in Brooklyn—other members of the band included Chick Corea and Joe Farrell.

Woody Shaw - Episode 1

In 1964, Woody went to Paris where he gained valuable experience playing with expatriate bebop greats Kenny Clarke and Bud Powell. He was also reunited with organist Larry Young. Woody returned to the U.S. in May, 1965 and joined Horace Silver's group the following month. Woody remained with Silver for almost 3 years making some outstanding recordings including "African Queen" and "Nutville.” After leaving Horace Silver, Woody spent the latter part of the sixties working and recording with McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea, Jackie McLean, Booker Ervin, Andrew Hill
CompositionArtist/LeaderAlbumYear
Beyond All LimitsWoody Shaw/Larry YoungUnity1965
MilestonesBooker LittleBooker Little 4 w/Max Roach1958
Lester Left TownLee Morgan/Art BlakeyAfricaine1959
One Finger SnapFreddie Hubbard/Herbie HancockEmpyrean Isle1964
Iron ManWoody Shaw/Eric DolphyIron Man1963
The MoontraneWoody Shaw/Larry YoungUnity1965
Theme From ZoltanWoody Shaw/Nathan DavisHappy Girl1965
The African QueenWoody Shaw/Horace SilverCape Verdean Blues1965
NutvilleWoody Shaw/Horace SilverCape Verdean Blues1965

Woody Shaw - Episode 2

Woody’s famous album Cassandranite recorded in 1965 was organized by Woody as a demo hoping to get a recording contract. The recordings were not released commercially until almost two decades later. The session is excellent; indeed, it is difficult to believe no record producer took notice. These recordings from 1965 through 1970 show his great talents as a trumpet player and composer. He was breaking new ground by the late 1960’s and collaborating with many important young musicians on the scene in New York. Blackstone Legacy was Woody's debut as a leader. The loosely constructed music crackles with energy and imagination and you can hear parallels to Miles' Bitches Brew in concept and instrumentation.
CompositionArtist/LeaderAlbumYear
CassandraniteWoody ShawCassandranite1965
ObsequiousWoody ShawCassandranite1965
TetragonWoody ShawCassandranite1965
LithaWoody Shaw/Chick CoreaTone's for Joan's Bones1966
Capricornian WayWoody Shaw/Booker ErvinTex Book Tenor1968
Blackstone LegacyWoody ShawBlackstone Legacy1970
Think On MeWoody ShawBlackstone Legacy1970

Woody Shaw - Episode 3

After working frequently with Bobby Hutcherson, Art Blakey, McCoy Tyner and others, Woody relocated to the West coast in the early 1970’s, where he worked in the bands of Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, and Art Blakey. He also made his recording debut as a leader with two albums on the Contemporary label. Shaw also emerged as an important band leader during the this period which was a time when many jazz artists began to explore jazz-rock and fewer bands performed in the tradition of hard bop. Shaw wrote original compositions for almost every band with which he played. His composition, "The Moontrane" has become a jazz standard. When he was signed to Columbia Records in 1977 it afforded him an opportunity to record with a major label with high production values and greater monetary resources. The 1977 album Rosewood was nominated for two Grammy Awards.
CompositionArtist/LeaderAlbumYear
In a Capricornian WayWoody ShawStepping Stones1978
In Case You Haven't HeardWoody ShawLittle Red's Fantasy1976
Little Red's FantasyWoody ShawLittle Red's Fantasy1976
Blue BossaWoody ShawLive At NIU1976
RosewoodWoody ShawRosewood1977
Rahsaan's RunWoody ShawRosewood1977

Woody Shaw - Episode 4

The album Woody III from 1979 represents some of his best work. Shaw wrote all of the compositions and arrangements. The three selections on the first side, performed by a 12-piece ensemble, are designed to tell the musical story of three generations of Woody Shaws. The compositions on this album show the wide range of influences in his work. The live tracks on this podcast feature some of his best trumpet playing. Woody
Shaw is now one of the most revered figures for trumpeters today and he is credited with
having extended the harmonic and technical vocabulary of the trumpet. These recordings
have influenced generations of subsequent jazz trumpet players.
CompositionArtistAlbumYear
Woody I: On the New ArkWoody ShawWoody III1979
Woody IIWoody ShawWoody III1979
Woody IIIWoody ShawWoody III1979
Escape VelocityWoody ShawStepping Stones-Live at the Village Vanguard1978
In a Capricornian WayWoody ShawStepping Stones-Live at the Village Vanguard1978
DianeWoody ShawMaster of the Art--Live1982