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Woody Shaw Woody Shaw

Woody Shaw, Jr. was born in Laurinburg, N.C. on December 24th, 1944 to Rosalie Pegues Shaw and Woody Shaw, Sr. He grew up in Newark, New Jersey, and began playing trumpet at the age of 11. Shaw attended Arts High School in Newark where he studied trumpet and music theory with Jerome Ziering. Newark has a rich Jazz history and many notable Jazz artists are originally from there, including Sarah Vaughan, Wayne Shorter, Eddie Gladden, Larry Young, and Grachan Moncur III. His first and perhaps greatest inspiration, in terms of the trumpet, came from listening to Louis Armstrong and, not long after, Clifford Brown.

Woody found out later that he had picked up the trumpet during the same month and year that Brown passed away. This was an auspicious sign for him and he felt that there was a “higher” reason for this; that it confirmed a deeper connection and purpose regarding his place within the lineage of the trumpet masters. His other primary influences were, of course, Dizzy Gillespie, Fats Navarro, Miles Davis, Kenny Dorham, Booker Little, Freddie Hubbard, and Lee Morgan. Woody particularly felt a strong connection to Dizzy because of the fact that his father (Woody, Sr.) and Dizzy had gone to high school together at Laurinburg Institute in North Carolina. Woody Shaw, Sr. had been a Gospel singer with the Diamond Jubilee Singers in the 1930s.

In 1963, after many local professional jobs, Woody worked for Willie Bobo (with Chick Corea and Joe Farrell) and also performed and recorded as a sideman with Eric Dolphy. The following year, Dolphy invited Shaw to join him in Paris, however, Dolphy suddenly died shortly before Shaw's departure. He decided to make the trip nonetheless, and found steady work in Paris with close friend Nathan Davis and such musicians as Bud Powell, Kenny Clarke, Johnny Griffin, and Art Taylor.

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Album The Complete Hank Mobley Blue Note Sessions 1963-70 by Hank Mobley

The Complete Hank...

Mosaic Records

Album At Onkel Po's Carnegie Hall: Vol. 1: Hamburg 1979 by Woody Shaw

At Onkel Po's...

Jazzline Records

Album Tokyo 1981 by Woody Shaw

Tokyo 1981

Elemental Music

Album Live in Bremen 1983 by Woody Shaw

Live in Bremen 1983

Elemental Music

Album Woody Shaw: The Complete Muse Sessions by Woody Shaw

Woody Shaw: The...

Mosaic Records




John Coltrane John Coltrane
Wayne Shorter Wayne Shorter
Eric Dolphy Eric Dolphy
Art Farmer Art Farmer
Lee Morgan Lee Morgan
Johnny Griffin Johnny Griffin
saxophone, tenor
Kenny Dorham Kenny Dorham
Hank Mobley Hank Mobley
saxophone, tenor
Jackie McLean Jackie McLean
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Thad Jones Thad Jones

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