Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
One of Woody's best
Tyler Smith | Denver, CO United States | 03/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Woody Shaw had a comparative lifetime of jazz playing and recording under his belt at the time of this '74 release, but he was still a chronologically a young man. It's his experience that shows on this great recording, once again rescued from obscurity by Joel Dorn and 32 Records.The title track was one of Shaw's best compositions, frequently played, most notably with Bobby Hutcherson at the Montreaux Jazz Festival, which was captured by Blue Note but currently consigned to the dust bin. In any event, Woody and company perform the tune beautifully here. "Moontrane" sets the tone for the rest of the set. It shows off Woody's expansive compositional sound, showing that a quintet can muster plenty of body into its attack."Sanyos," the set's most extended composition, again shows that Woody could play with space but still find a groove. On this tune and "Tapscott's Blues" and "Katrina Ballerina," the band expands to a septet with the addition of percussion from Tony Waters and Guillherme Franco.Azar Lawrence, on sax, and Onjae Allen Gumbs, on piano, both contribute significantly to the Eastern flavor of the set. Lawrence had played with McCoy Tyner, a master at spicing his compositions with African and Indian influences. He unfortunately seemed to vanish from the scene sometime during the mid-70s. Gumbs' rhythmic patterns fit in well here, adding a layer to strong base provided by Buster Williams and Cecil McBee on bass and Victor Lewis on drums.Shaw's superbly conceived solos reflect his mastery of his own compositions. His tone was clear, his ideas fully formed and his compositional framework invited his bandmates to explore the space he provided them. "Moontrane" opens up vistas for the listener and provides compelling evidence that Woody Shaw was one of jazz's great voices."
Woody shaw's best band
Joseph Creed | Hartford, CT | 11/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this album (the one released by 32 Jazz, not the one with his photo holding the trumpet) for the album cover. It was a painting by Oliver Wasow, the photographer, one of his only eight wall-size paintings. The painting was like the scene from an early-morning dream. You could feel the bitter cold and hear the sound of the Sanyas (or so I thought was the name of those odd-head-shaped birds in migration, one of which was flying the other way!) When I listened to the album, (I am a jazz lover and collector), I was spellbound by Woody's bright-toned, unapologetically-jagged playing. His playing is best backed up by odd harmony and in this album he is complemented by the only pianist I see who complements him best. The way they play straightahead jazz is the best I've heard. Onaje Allan Gumbs, who unfortunately wasn't a straightahead purist, comped like no one else. (He is even more odd-harmonied than Billy Childs, my favorite comper who played for Freddie Hubbard) He didn't use the standard comping you would ordinarily hear. He struck his odd-harmony voicings in odd places and was never (at any time!) predictable, even rythm-wise. His chords would suddenly descend or ascend one after the other in a beat. And he was sure of what he was doing because he comped powerfully. I was disappointed to learn that they never released more than two or three albums together, the other two being not really straight small-ensemble straightahead ones. Just try to compare Arturo Sandoval's version of Moontrane on Swingin' (with Joey Calderrazo - Branford Marsalis' present pianist) and you'll see how different a pianist he was (in fact, I think he's even better than Hancock or Kirkland - my favorites as well) Listen, and you'll see what I mean!"