Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Two More Pieces of the Puzzle
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Tyler Smith | Denver, CO United States | 10/31/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Joel Dorn of 32 Records deserves a huge round of thanks from all jazz fans for his determined effort to keep alive the memory of Woody Shaw, one of modern jazz's greatest trumpet players. Given his untimely death in 1989, the title of this CD is appropriate. Shaw's struggles with substance abuse belied his steely discipline on his instrument, his strong compositional skills and his well-thought-out recordings. "Two More Pieces of the Puzzle" show off Shaw's skills on his own instrument and his ability to play within a wide variety of styles.The first CD, recorded at a concert in Berlin in 1976, features Shaw with Ronnie Matthews on piano, Rene McLean on flute and reeds, and the great Frank Foster on saxophone. The powerful set features strong solos from McLean and Foster on the extended "Hello to the Wind" (excellent arrangement by drummer Joe Chambers, who appears on the second CD)and a fine Ronnie Matthews composition, "Jean Marie" (a fine version of which is also available on Shaw's "Little Red's Fantasy" release.) Shaw's playing throughout is fluid and muscular, and the front line of horns mesh together well.The second CD, "Iron Men," draws inspiration from Eric Dolphy, who recorded an album of the same name that Woody appeared on and from Andrew Hill, whose composition "Symmetry" gets a fine treatment. The personnel here is even more eclectic than on the first CD. Anthony Braxton and Muhal Richard Abrams, both associated with the avant garde, appear. Abrams, in particular, shines on the disk, which includes a Shaw classic, "Song of Songs." Two relatively free compositions, "Diversion One" and "Diversion Two" appear, alongside the classic "Jitterbug Waltz," further underscoring Woody's ability to absorb styles.Great release again from 32 Records and strongly supportive of the fact that Woody Shaw belongs in the upper echelons of key jazz musicians."
A Living Music
D. Peterson | Orem, Utah United States | 10/03/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Here we have two outstanding albums from the most underrated musician of his generation and, in my opinion, the greatest jazz trumpeter yet. Woody Shaw was a true master both improvisationally and compositionally, with a deep sense of swing, a highly personal lyricism, a bold clear tone, and unsurpassed harmonic invention. This double-album reissues two Shaw records, one from a Berlin jazz festival in an advanced hard bop group (including saxophonists Frank Foster and Renee McLean, trombonist Slide Hampton, and pianist Ronnie Matthews) and a more forward-thinking set featuring Anthony Braxton, Arthur Blythe, Muhal Richard Abrams, Cecil McBee, and Joe Chambers. The live set swings hard from top to bottom and showcases Shaw's ability to blow aggressively. The avant-garde studio album (my favorite of the two) is more challenging and adventurous, with the obvious highlight being the exotic "Song of Songs." More people should look into this great musician's music. This is a fine place to start."