Woody Shaw

Dark Journey

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Woody Shaw was one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time and all of his music deserves to be reissued and studied. This two-CD set is merely a sampling of his works, and despite some excellent liner notes from Michael Cuscuna, the programming is a bit odd. The second disc has the earliest recordings including two items ("Nutville" and "The Moontrane") that were leased and originally part of sessions led by pianist Horace Silver and organist Larry Young. In addition, there are four selections from the 1965 recording Cassandranite (which, like the rest of the material, was originally issued by Muse) and two numbers from 1974. The first disc has "Jitterbug Waltz" from the 1977 recording The Iron Men, and draws its six other selections (dating from 1983-87) from the Setting Standards, Imagination and Solid albums. The music is quite rewarding and the sidemen include Anthony Braxton on clarinet (for "Jitterbug Waltz"); pianists Cedar Walton, Kenny Barron and Herbie Hancock; trombonist Steve Turre; altoist Kenny Garrett; and tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, among many others. But true Woody Shaw fans will prefer to get the original sessions in full, and fortunately 32 Jazz has also been gradually reissuing all of their Shaw Muse albums.

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