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

Booker Little


Booker_Little1In an all-to-short life of 23 years, Booker Little established himself as one of the greatest jazz trumpet players of the 2nd half of the 20th century. He possessed blazing technique, unsurpassed melodic gifts, deep harmonic understanding, and a fearless approach to improvisation.

Booker Little - Episode 1

In an all-to-short life of 23 years, Booker was able to play and record with some of the most important musicians of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s including Eric Dolphy, Max Roach and John Coltrane. On this podcast I will examine his influences and his first recordings from 1958.
CompositionArtistAlbumYear
Minor SweetBooker LittleBooker Little Quartet1960
Blues WalkClifford BrownStudy in Brown1955
ShirleyBooker Little/Max RoachMax Roach on the Chicago Scene1958
Memo to MauriceBooker Little/Max RoachMax Roach on the Chicago Scene1958
My Old FlameBooker Little/Max RoachMax Roach on the Chicago Scene1958
Larry LarueBooker Little/Max RoachDeeds, Not Words1958

Booker Little - Episode 2

By 1958 Booker Little was recording under his own name. Although only 20 years old, the recordings show a musician of great poise and maturity. He begins to emerge as serious composer and arranger. His playing continues to improve and his technical prowess allows him utilize acrobatic leaps in his improvisations. In 1960 he began his musical association with Eric Dolphy. The two musicians’ playing complemented each other and helped to bring Booker greater exposure.
CompositionAritstAlbumYear
MilestonesBooker LittleBooker Little 4 and Max Roach1958
Dungeon WaltzBooker LittleBooker Little 4 and Max Roach1958
A Starling's ThemeBooker Little/Frank StrozierFantastic Frank Strozier1959
There's No YouBooker Little/Max RoachThe Many Sides of Max1959
Minor SweetBooker LittleBooker Little1960
Far CryBooker Little/Eric DolphyFar Cry1960

Booker Little - Episode 3

On this podcast we will listen to selections from his two last albums recorded under his name before he passed in the fall of 1961. His compositions and arrangements continued to mature and increasingly began to show the influence of modern 20th orchestral composers. I can’t predict what he might have accomplished had he lived longer, but he made a great impact in a short period of time.
CompostionArtistAlbumYear
We SpeakBooker LittleOut Front1961
Strength and Sanity Booker LittleOut Front1961
Victory and Sorrow Booker LittleVictory and Sorrow1961
Looking AheadBooker Little Victory and Sorrow1961