Woody Shaw: Blackstone Legacy
Trumpeter Woody Shaw (1944-89) was 26 in 1970 when he recorded this, his official solo debut, for Contemporary Records. Originally a double LP, the six longish originals (four by Shaw and the disc's two best by the keyboardist on the date, George Cables) make it on to one CD due to some imperceptible editing on two tracks. An earlier Shaw solo recording eventually surfaced: a 1965 session featured on 32 Jazz's Last of The Line. But Shaw officially got his start here.
Despite the cross-breeding of bop structures, Bitches Brew -inspired eclecticism (due mostly to Cable's electric piano and the presence of Bennie Maupin and Lenny White), Afro-centric titles and nearly free-form soloing on display here, Shaw never really veered much from his quite identifiable sound. Here, the trumpeter fits himself into a rather unusual, but entirely complimentary septet featuring two reedmen (Gary Bartz, Bennie Maupin), two bassists (Ron Carter, Clint Houston), the wondrous Cables on acoustic and electric piano and White on drums.
Shaw's "A Deed For Dolphy" is first explored here, to particular advantage and Cables's Shaw-like "Think on Me' and "New World" make the proceedings especially worthwhile. The remaining tunes offer plenty of interesting exploratory comment from all, making Blackstone Legacy a strong, if only slightly atypical addition to the Woody Shaw legacy.
Songs:Blackstone Legacy; Think On Me; Lost And Found; New World; Boo-Ann's Grand; A Deed For Dolphy.
Players:Woody Shaw: trumpet; Gary Bartz: alto sax, soprano sax; Bennie Maupin: tenor sax, bass clarinet, flute; George Cables: piano, electric piano; Ron Carter, Clint Houston: bass; Lenny White: drums.
Record Label: Contemporary