Woody Shaw, 1979

This clip, though short, contains some truly unbelievable creative trumpet playing.

Woody Shaw, trumpet; Carter Jefferson, tenor; Onaje Allan Gumbs, piano; Stafford James, bass; Victor Lewis, drums. Italy, 1979.

It’s not only the brilliant imagination that captivates with Woody Shaw (1944 – 1989) – it’s how natural those fiendishly difficult lines feel. When you factor in that he created these lines out of whole cloth, basically inventing a new approach to linear construction, it becomes obvious that this is one of the great musical innovators on any instrument. In the context of his compositions and those of his colleagues, Woody Shaw is now one of the most revered figures for trumpeters today. He is rapidly becoming recognized as a major jazz composer. Next week FONT Music takes a small step towards celebrating that, with four nights of celebration at the Jazz Standard.

The album Woody III was how awareness of this trumpeter originally came to me. Now Shaw’s son, Woody Shaw III, is keeping the legacy alive by organizing groups to play his father’s music. Woody is also the collector and poster of these great and rare videos. Thanks, Woody.