Tune in to hear more about this jazz trumpeter, flugelhornist, cornetist, composer and band leader, often referred to as the “last innovator.” We will also sample the “Woody Shaw – The Complete Columbia Albums Collection” released in September 2011. Our guest will be Woody Shaw III.
Woody Shaw was born on December 24, 1944 in Laurinburg, North Carolina. He was brought to Newark, New Jersey by his parents, Rosalie Pegues and Woody Shaw, Sr., at the age of 1 year old. Shaw’s father, Woody Shaw, Sr. was a member of the African American gospel group known as the Diamond Jubilee Singers and both of his parents attended the same secondary private school as Dizzy Gillespie, Laurinburg Institute. Shaw’s mother is originally from the same town as Gillespie, Cheraw, South Carolina.
Shaw began playing bugle at age 9 and performed in the Junior Elks, Junior Mason, and Washington Carver Drum and Bugle Corps in Newark, New Jersey. Though not his first choice for an instrument, he began studying classical trumpet with Jerome Ziering at Cleveland Junior High School at the age of 11.
As a teenager, Shaw worked professionally at weddings, dances, and night clubs. He eventually left school but continued his study of the trumpet under the influence of Dizzy Gillespie, Fats Navarro, Clifford Brown, Booker Little, Lee Morgan, and Freddie Hubbard. He later discovered that he had picked up the trumpet during the same month and year that Clifford Brown died, June 1956.
Shaw was also born with a photographic memory and perfect pitch. Max Roach once stated: “He was truly one of the greatest. I first had occasion to work with Woody on a trip to Iran. One of the most amazing things was his uncanny memory. I was just flabbergasted. After one look, he knew all of the charts, no matter how complex they were.”
Woody Shaw’s improvisational and composing style bears the influences of his idols Eric Dolphy, John Coltrane and McCoy Tyner, as well as many European modern classical and 20th century composers
Woody Shaw was a masterful stylist and a leader with strong musical convictions.
Hosted by Arts Producer Joyce Jones