An outstanding free drummer who was also able and willing to get funky at any time, Charles "Bobo" Shaw's playing was rhythmically diverse and alternately intense or relaxed, frenetic or steady. Shaw studied drums with Ben Thigpen, and briefly doubled on trombone and bass. He was one of the founders of the St. Louis-based Black Artists Group in the '60s. Shaw and other BAG members went to Europe later in the '60s, and Shaw played free jazz in Paris for a year with Anthony Braxton, Steve Lacy, Frank Wright, Alan Silva, and Michel Portal. He returned to St. Louis in the '70s, and recorded there with Oliver Lake in 1971. He led the Human Arts Ensemble in the mid-'70s, recording with Lester and Joseph Bowie, Julius Hemphill, Lake, and others. Shaw worked and did sessions with Lester Bowie, Frank Lowe, Hamiett Bluiett, and Lake in the mid-'60s. After touring with the Human Arts Ensemble in Europe during the late '70s, Shaw recorded with Billy Bang in the mid-'80s. He recorded as a leader for Moers and Black Saint, among others. He died at a hospice in St. Louis on January 16, 2017 at the age of 69.