Thursday, November 23, 2017

Woody Shaw "The Tour Vol.2:

The Tour, Vol. 2 - Woody Shaw, trumpet; Louis Hayes, drums
Thankfully, High Note Records seems to find ways to access frequent but previously unreleased live concerts by a variety of jazz stalwarts. This time we go all the way back to 1976 and 1977 for a collection recorded at various locations in Germany and Belgium. For the record, the quintet is co-led by trumpet star Woody Shaw and drummer par excellence Louis Hayes. Shaw was a huge talent, often virtuosic in nature. His trumpet chops were controlled but fiery; his solos both compelling and inventive; and his ballad playing often simply something to behold. His career was cut short by a tragic accident, so he leaves a modest number of recordings. That in part is what makes this CD so welcome. On almost all material, the two co-leaders are joined by Junior Cook, tenor sax; Ronnie Mathews, piano; and Stafford James, bass. The six tunes are evergreens of the art form with titles like "All The Things You Are", "Night In Tunisia", "Invitation", "'Round Midnight" and more. This is heavy duty hard bop and not for the uninitiated or faint of heart. Woody Shaw was a ball of fire. Who knows where a longer life would have taken him? But he sure gave it his all while he was among us.

High Note; 2017; appx. 53 min.

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