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Shaw, Woody (Herman II)

Shaw, Woody (Herman II)

Shaw, Woody (Herman II), well-known jazz trumpeter, flugelhornist, composer; b. Laurinburg, N.C., Dec. 24, 1944; d. N.Y. May 10, 1989. He was raised in Newark, N.J. from his early years, where his father led a gospel group. His first big gig was at the Club Coronet in Brooklyn with Willie Bobo’s band, which included Chick Corea and Joe Farrell. He met Eric Dolphy there and made his first recordings with him in 1963, already expressing a striking voice as a player and writer. He spent time in Europe, where he played with Bud Powell, Johnny Griffin, and Kenny Clarke, among others. When he returned, he performed with Horace Silver, Corea, and for a short time with Art Blakey. Shaw’s heroin addiction led to health problems; complications from diabetes made him nearly blind (he always wore thick glasses). He finally lost his sight to degenerative eye disease and fell from a subway platform into a train’s path on Feb. 27, 1989. He lost an arm and was in a coma at Bellevue Hospital until he died.


In the Beginning… (1965); Blackstone Legacy (1970); Song of Songs (1972); Moontrane (1974); Love Dance (1975); Red’s Fantasy (1976); Cassandranite (1976); Rosewood (1977); Iron Men (1977); Complete CBS Studio Recordings (1977); Woody III (1978); Stepping Stones (1978); United (1981); Night Music (1982); Master of the Art (1982); Lotus Flower (1982); Time Is Right (1983); Setting Standards (1983); Solid (1986); Double Take (1986).


D. Carley, W. S.: Jazz Trumpet Solos (Winona, Minn., 1989).

—Lewis Porter

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