Of Woody Shaw's five Columbia albums, United is the one that sounds most like a blowing session. The trumpeter and his regular band of the period (with trombonist Steve Turre, pianist Mulgrew Miller, bassist Stafford James, and drummer Tony Reedus) welcome guest altoist Gary Bartz to two of the six selections. In addition to selections by Shaw, Miller, and Wayne Shorter, "What Is This Thing Called Love?" and "The Greene Street Caper" (the latter an "original" closely based on "On Green Dolphin Street") are performed on this fairly straight-ahead and accessible yet adventurous date. Worth searching for.
by Scott Yanow