Woody Shaw*

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shaw-arm-up blog


Dedicated to the artist that are no longer with us: Voices of Silence

Born: December 24th 1944

Died: May 10th 1989

In 1977 I purchased my first of many Woody Shaw albums “Rosewood” which led to many more of this jazz giant releases. I was five years out of high school and clearly knew who the favorites of the trumpeters were from my jazz peers. What I heard from the rosewood album was unexplainable to my ears at the time, it wasn’t a sound I was used to. I knew Miles, Lee, Kenny, Freddie, and Chet just to name a few and was comfortable in their style. Woody bought a different sound of arranged musical notes that resonated with me beyond compare and instantly I was a Hugh fan.

Woody’s discography ledger is extensive sometimes releasing as many as three albums in a single year and many more times at least two a year as a leader of his own group. When you add the many times he was requested as a side man it’s phenomenal! He’s on dates with leading names like McCoy Tyner, Art Blakey, Chick Corea, Gary Bartz, Eric Dolphy, Sonny Fortune, Dexter Gordon, Lionel Hampton, Joe Henderson, and on and on, this too is testament to his professionalism and a true Jazz Giant.

This excerpt taken from Wikipedia give more credence to how some of his peers felt about him.

As a musician and trumpeter, Shaw was held in remarkably high esteem by his colleagues and is today seen as one of the most technically and harmonically advanced trumpet players in the history of jazz and of the instrument itself. Miles Davis, a notoriously harsh critic of fellow musicians, once said of Shaw: “Now there’s a great trumpet player. He can play different from all of them.”[10] Trumpeter Dave Douglas states: “It’s not only the brilliant imagination that captivates with Woody Shaw – it’s how natural those fiendishly difficult lines feel… Woody Shaw is now one of the most revered figures for trumpeters today.”[11] Shaw is credited with having extended the harmonic and technical vocabulary of the trumpet. Upon hearing of Shaw’s death in 1989, Wynton Marsalis stated: “Woody added to the vocabulary of the trumpet. His whole approach influenced me tremendously.”[6]

Posted in: Voices of Silence

As a lover of jazz which started in high school I recently decided to photograph the performing artist for which this site is dedicated to, I hope you enjoy!