Woody Shaw

Imagination

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Trumpeter Woody Shaw's final album as a leader (cut less than two years before his passing) is surprisingly upbeat. Although his health became shaky, Shaw never declined as a player, as he shows throughout the spirited quintet outing with his longtime trombonist Steve Turre, pianist Kirk Lightsey, bassist Ray Drummond and drummer Carl Allen. Other than Turre's "Steve's Blues," all of the pieces are veteran standards (including "If I Were A Bell," "Imagination" and "You And The Night And The Music"), yet they sound quite fresh and contain more than their share of subtle surprises. Recommended.

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