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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I first heard trumpeter Woody Shaw on Dexter's Homecoming album -- I'd bought the record because, you know, it's Dexter Frikkin' Gordon dammit! -- and found myself going "Who the hell is this trumpet player?!?"

After that, I grabbed every recording of his I could find. I loved his playing. He's also influenced my compositional vocabulary: his tunes are beautifully constructed, fresh, unusual.

I wrote this tune a while back, an attempt to grab some of what I admire in Woody's compositional vibe and approach:

Theme for Woody Shaw

(Recorded a couple of weeks ago at the Central Park Grill in Buffalo, New York; my trusty TH&C alto, and my newly beloved stock-as-stock-can-be HR Berg 90/2M...)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nice Kelly. There's a really sweet conversation between Anthony Braxton and Woody's son on youtube. Woody Shaw was another of jazz's great tragic figures.
It's here. I hadn't seen that before; thanks for pointing it out. I don't have that recording. I'm hot and cold on Braxton: some of his stuff kills, but when he plays standards with a conventional rhythm section, like that stuff with Brubeck and Konitz, it's ... [biting my tongue] ... not my cup of tea.

I've always been surprised Woody Shaw didn't make as big a splash as Freddie. Shaw was the first guy I heard on any wind instrument doing that intricate stuff with fourths and pentatonics (McCoy was also doing that sort of stuff...) Shaw's sound is more compact (almost classical) compared to Freddie's; it's a great contrast. And, dammit: I love his writing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Kelly - that's some muscular alto playing. Beautiful sound, and if you don't mind the comparison your sound reminds me of Dick Oatts. There's a quality in the wail or cry there that I really dig.

Curious, do you play alto/tenor about 50/50, or more on one horn than the other? Your alto conception is very strong, I think...too bad the track fades, I would really like to have heard where that was going...
Thanks Shawn! I've been a lifelong tenor player, and took up alto a few years back. I only picked it up because I had so many beginning students on alto, and it seemed goofy and confusing to demo stuff on tenor for all these young alto players...

Almost at once the alto seemed to really work for me -- the sound just seemed to be cooking right off the bat -- and I think I've got something more special going on on alto than on tenor ... and as a guy who always considered himself exclusively a tenor player, that's been an odd but enjoyable place to find myself. (Playing alto has also improved my tenor playing, fer what it's worth...)

These days I gig about equally on both horns ... whenever it's one of my own gigs, I'll usually have both horns on the bandstand...
 
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