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Ivan Radivojevic

Matr.Nr.: 10BU056

Woody Shaw The Last Great Trumpet Innovator

Bachelor-Arbeit
Zur Erlangung des Akademischen Grades

Bachelor of Arts

des Studiums KBA Jazz Trompete

an der
Anton Bruckner Privatuniversitt
Linz

Betreut durch: Peter Tuscher und Peter Herbert

Linz, 15.06.2014

Acknowledgements
I would like to thank a number of people that have been of great help to me in the making of
this bachelor thesis. First of all, I would like to thank my trumpet professor Peter Tuscher for
his encouragement, guidance, enthusiasm and willingness to help me in any way he can over
the years, regarding the subject of research in this thesis and my musical pursuits in general.
He has been a great teacher to me and always had the right advice whenever I needed one, and
for that Im eternally grateful. I would also like to thank Peter Herbert for his willingness to
help me with this work by agreeing to be my second reader and for making an interview with
me, which has been very insightful and helpful for my thesis. Also, Im thanking Stafford
James and Annette Neuffer for being so kind to make interviews with me about the topic of
this work. Last but not least, I would like to thank my family for the endless amounts of
support and encouragement regarding this work and my studies in general.

Table of contents
Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . i
1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
2. Biography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2.1. Early life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2.2. Career, development and notable records . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2.2.1. 1960s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2.2.2. 1970s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
2.2.3. 1980s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
2.3. Death . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
3. Innovations in the approach to soloing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
3.1. Musical influences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
3.2. Previous analysis of Shaws improvising concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
3.3. Shaws key innovative features in analyzed solos on Jazz Standards . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
3.3.1. Harmonic innovations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
3.3.1.1. Bimodality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
3.3.1.2. Use of pentatonic scales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
3.3.2. Melodic innovations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
3.3.3. Rhythmic innovations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
4. Interviews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
4.1. Interview with Peter Herbert . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
4.2. Interview with Stafford James . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
4.3. Interview with Annette Neuffer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
5. List of references . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
6. List of figures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
7. List of images . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
8. Statement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

1. Introduction
Woody Shaw represents a grand figure in the world of jazz music, but especially so in the
context of jazz trumpet playing. He has immensely contributed to the vocabulary of the jazz
trumpet, adding musical devices which were not in use by his peers and predecessors on this
instrument, boggling trumpet players to this day. Having that in mind, it doesnt come as a
surprise that I have been astounded by Shaws approach to soloing from the very first time I
heard him on a record, around five years ago. I have been interested in his music ever since,
but it wasnt until the last two years that I have started researching Shaws style of playing,
feeling that I can comprehend his approach better now that I have a certain grasp of the
tradition that came before him. During my research, some of the devices that Shaw used in his
music became clear to me, but some continue to slip out of my current reach. Nonetheless,
Im certain that determination and hard work can get me to the goal that Im after.
This bachelor thesis represents my current findings concerning Shaws career and
development in music, style of playing and him as a person. I have divided this work in the
same manner, respectively. Regarding Shaws career and development in music, I have
informed myself mostly through written and audio interviews that he made during his career,
on which Im heavily relying in this thesis, also through liner notes of the albums that he
played on and from various sources of information about him on the Internet. My findings
about Shaws playing style were acquired through my own research, in which I analyzed his
solos and tried to imitate some aspects of his playing, combined with reading books and other
types of works that certain musicians and music scholars wrote about this topic. I havent
found any work concerning Shaws personality in the sense of more-or-less traditional
sources, like books and texts on the Internet so I can create a link between his music and him
as a person, like many biographers of well-known musicians have done. Therefore, I thought
about making my own interviews with people that have worked with and/or have been close
to Shaw, so I can get better acquainted with his personality through the experiences that the
interviewees had with him, which is what I did. I interviewed Peter Herbert, Stafford James
and Annette Neuffer about Shaw, and the full interviews, with unedited answers from the
interviewees are present in this thesis.

2. Biography

2.1. Early life

Woody Herman Shaw Jr. was born on 24. of December, 1944 in Laurinburg, North Carolina
and has died on 10. of May, 1989 in New York.
When he was one year old, he moved with his parents to Newark, New Jersey. His father,
Woody Shaw Sr., was a vocalist at a gospel group called the Diamond Jubilee Singers, which
tells that Shaw Jr. was exposed to music at early age. Accidentally, Shaw Sr. went to the same
secondary school as Dizzy Gillespie, the Laurinburg Institute, about what Shaw Jr. speaks of
in his interview with Lois Gilbert for WRVR F.M. (1980). Shaw
began playing the bugle at the age nine, but switched to classical
trumpet studies with Jerome Ziering at age 11, even though that
instrument wasnt his first choice, as he explains in the above
mentioned interview with Lois Gilbert: The trumpet was not my
first choice for an instrument. In fact, I ended up playing it by
default. [] I felt why did I have to get stuck with this tinny
sounding thing. But, in time, he grew up loving the trumpet,
and in retrospect, he felt that there was some mystical force that brought them together (Shaw,
1980). At the time Shaw was starting to develop on the trumpet, his first influences were that
of the trumpet greats such as Louis Armstrong and Harry James (Hentoff, Nat in: Larry
Young, Unity, Blue Note, 1966). He was also at that time actively playing the trumpet at
weddings, dances and similar events. Older musicians that Shaw was hanging and playing
with had a profound impact on him, eventually leading to him dropping the school and
pursuing the life of a jazz musician:
Being around older musicians gave me sort of a jump on a lot of young musicians, and the old
musicians instilled a lot of knowledge into me, like Larry Young, [] Jimmy Henderson, []
Buddy Terry, and by this time I met Kenny Dorham and Lou Donaldson, I have more or less
developed prematurely at that time, so Im hanging out so much I started to miss classes and
ultimately I finally quit school. (Woody Shaw, WRVR F.M., 1980)

2.2. Career, development and notable records

2.2.1. 1960s

The first notable band that Woody Shaw was playing in was that of Willie Bobo, the Latin
Jazz Allstars, which included in its personnel the young Chick Corea and Joe Farrell.
However, his recording debut Shaw had with the multi-instrumentalist Eric Dolphy, who he
met at the age of eighteen, on Dolphys album Iron Man (Douglas International, 1963).
Dolphy had an immense impact on Shaws views on music and his general musicianship,
which he discusses in the above mentioned interview for WRVR F.M.:
Eric [Dolphy], who had heard me at the Blue Coronet in Brooklyn, you know, really liked the
way I played. So, he called me a week later and I got a chance to play his music, and from
playing Erics tunes it provided me with a certain technical prowess. Just to play his tunes is
challenging, you know, and it also changed my concept, because I could hear the bebop in
forms of Charlie Parker and Dizzy [Gillespie] in Eric Dolphys music. I think Erics music is one
of the most profound influences on me, still today, that ultimately made me find my own
direction in jazz. (Woody Shaw, 1980)

Dolphys album Iron Man showcases the young Shaw on Dolphys original tunes, like Iron
Man, Burning Spear and Mandrake, which have pretty outside themes, full of Dolphy's
trademark wide interval leaps and playful sense of dissonance, as the critic Steve Huey states
for the All Music Guide review of the album. Shaw, eighteen years old at the time, already
then possessed the fiery quality in his playing, which came from the influence that the
trumpeter Lee Morgan had on him, and its obvious that some of Dolphys trademark
harmonical and melodical devices grabbed the young Shaw, which he later on further
developed, making his own style on this basis.
When Shaw turned 19, Dolphy unexpectedly died. However, shortly before he died, Dolphy
invited Shaw to accompany him on a tour in Europe, sending him a flight ticket and a letter in
which he asks Shaw to come to Paris, France, to play in the then famous Parisian jazz club, Le
Chat Qui Pche. Shaw used the ticket nonetheless, and went to Paris. He states the following
about his time spent in Paris:
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It was a very good experience for me, because it was somewhat like New York, cause I met a
lot of different types of people, cause I was a good reader and I could play with different
orchestras and different musicians around. So I earned my living, you know, and I was a
teenager in Paris. (Woody Shaw, 1980)

Shaw got in contact with some of the expatriate jazz musicians from the USA, who have
already lived in Paris for some time, the likes of Kenny Clarke, Bud Powell, Dexter Gordon,
Art Taylor etc., also playing alongside some of the famous French jazz musicians.
Shaw left Paris in the year of 1965 in favor of New York, where he started establishing
himself as a prominent figure on the musical scene. His coming to New York was triggered
by a call from Horace Silver to play in his band, which he always wanted because he admired
the hard bop bands, such as Max Roachs, Art Blakeys and Horace Silvers, because they
had the best trumpet players, [] like Booker Little, Freddie Hubbard, Clifford Brown and
Kenny Dorham (Woody Shaw, 1980). What preceded the call from Horace Silver was the
recommendation from the saxophonist Joe Henderson, about which Shaw talks in, again, his
interview with Lois Gilbert:
When I was in Paris, I met Joe Henderson, who Ive known a few years prior to that, and Joe
came down and listened to me at the Le Chat Qui Pche, and he asked me if Horace [Silver]
had ever heard me, and I told him I dont think so. Him and Freddie Hubbard gave me a very
strong recommendation when Carmel Jones left the band, and I guess about a month, or a
few months after that Horace wrote me a letter. He called up my mother and father, I guess I
was 19 or 20 years old by then, and he asked me to come back with three weeks guarantee
trial work [] and I got the gig after one week. I think it was two and a half or three years that I
stayed with Horace. (Woody Shaw, 1980)

Shaw tells about working with Horace Silver in an interview with Steve Lake for the Melody
Maker magazine: After Dolphy, working with Horace was like the most thorough grounding
a young [musician] could have in the basics of jazz. (1976, p. 48). He also shares some
thoughts about the same topic in an interview with Chuck Berg for Downbeat magazine: I
learned a lot about the basics by playing with Horace - form, structure, discipline and
whatnot. Horace's music is very disciplined. It was a good experience for me to grow and
become a real professional musician. (1978). While Shaw was playing in Horace Silvers
band, he recorded two albums with him, The Cape Verdean Blues (Blue Note, 1965) and The
Jody Grind (Blue Note, 1966). On these albums, one can hear in Shaws playing that he very
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well absorbed the playing style of McCoy Tyner and John Coltrane by that time and
transferred it to the trumpet, alongside Dolphys style, in a way that nobody did before him.
His playing style steadily matured, and all of this can be heard, for example, in his solo on
Horace Silvers tune, The African Queen, from the album The Cape Verdean Blues. If one
would analyze the transcription of this solo, the most prominent features of Shaws playing
style, which he later on fully developed, could easily be noticed, such as bimodality, the
pentatonic approach, the wide interval approach and the use of atypical rhythmic phrasing.
The trumpeter Brian Lynch discusses this topic in an article for the internet site Jazz.com,
called The Dozens: Brian Lynch Selects 12 Essential Woody Shaw Tracks, where he talks
about the influence that Shaw had on him, and analyses select solos from Shaw:
This was a breakthrough recording of Woody Shaw for me, the first fully realized
representation of the innovations that he would bring to the jazz trumpet vocabulary. Many of
Woodys signature melodic formations are present in his solo, such as his systematic use of
pentatonic and fourth-based permutations leading to wider interval jumps, and the in-to-out
sequencing and side-slipping. [] Its a truly incredible achievement for a 20-year-old player
to have his own vocabulary and style so fully formed so quick! (Brian Lynch)

Shaw indeed had formed his style very quickly, which is also evident on other selections on
the two albums he recorded with Silver.
Another important collaboration for the young Shaw at that time was on the album Unity
(Blue Note, 1966), a recording date led by an organ player who had a profound influence on
Shaws musical creativity and musicianship in general, Larry Young. Shaw met with Young
as early as on the jam sessions held in Newark jazz clubs, and during his period of living in
Paris, he invited Young at some point to come and play with him throughout Europe, which
they did. Therefore, prior to the recording of Unity, they played together on numerous
occasions, which led to a musical understanding on a very high level. This album also marks
the first time that some compositions from Shaw got to be recorded, namely Zoltan,
Moontrane and Beyond All Limits, with Moontrane being the first composition he ever wrote,
at the tender age of 18. The group, in which Joe Henderson and Elvin Jones also take part, has
an undeniable musical connection throughout the record on a grand scale, or as the jazz critic
Nat Hentoff more elaborately put it in the liner notes of the album:

Ive rarely heard an album with as much sustained, collective spirit as this. Spirit, moreover,
that is allied with technical prowess, originality, individuality, and yet collective identity. From
note one, the music takes hold and never drops into the routine. (1966)

Shaw has at that time, mid to late 1960s, recorded with a number of musicians, most
prominently for Blue Note records. He explains it in his interview with Chuck Berg: After
Horace's group was over I started meeting and recording with people like Jackie McLean,
Andrew Hill and McCoy Tyner. So there was a lot of recording for Blue Note. He has also
found work in pit orchestras and on Broadway musicals at that time, because, in his words, I
was a very good reader (Woody Shaw, 1978).

2.2.2. 1970s

The year of 1971 marked the emerging of Shaws debut record as a


leader, entitled Blackstone Legacy (Contemporary, 1971), although his
album In The Beginning (Muse), which was released in 1983, has in
fact been recorded in the year of 1965. Therefore, Blackstone Legacy
is taken as his first released album as a leader.
The personnel on this truly a landmark recording and a pivot point in the history of postmodern music (Michael G. Nastos, Allmusic), apart from Shaw himself, consisted of Gary
Bartz, Bennie Maupin, George Cables, Ron Carter, Clint Houston and Lenny White. The
tunes played consist of four Shaws originals as well as two Cables originals. The message
that this album bears can be described as political and reflective on the societys turmoil of
that time. Shaw states in the liner notes that this album is dedicated to the youth who will
benefit mankind. To the youth who are constantly aware of the turmoil in which the world is
and who are trying to right all these wrongs whether in music or in speech or in any other
way of positive work. (1971) He goes further on to say:
Were trying to express whats happening in the world today as we a new breed of young
musicians feel it. I mean the different tensions in the world, the ridiculous war in Vietnam,
the oppression of poor people in this, a country of such wealth. The cats on this date usually
discuss these things, but were all also trying to reach a state of spiritual enlightenment in

which were continually aware of whats happening but react in a positive way. The music in
this album, you see, expresses strength confidence that well overcome these things.

The title track and, at the same time the first track of the album shows strength and confidence
from the first note uttered by Shaw. When questioned by Nat Hentoff about this track, Shaw
states that [its] dedicated to the freedom of Black people all over the world. And its
dedicated to the people in the ghettos here. The stone in the title is the image of strength.
[] This music is meant to be a light of hope, a sound of strength and of coming through. Its
one for the ghetto. This album features an immensely creative work of musicians who
bonded tightly, having the same cause in mind. Nonetheless, Shaw states his dissatisfaction
with his own playing in the interview with Eugene Chadbourne for Coda magazine: Those
two records [Blackstone Legacy and Song Of Songs], overall I was satisfied, but I wasn't
satisfied with my playing. I hadn't perfected what I was looking for. (Woody Shaw, 1976),
which can be interpreted as a constant effort by Shaw towards the mastery of his instrument
and music in general, and of forging a unique voice of his own.
This album was followed by a second release of Shaw being the leader, Song Of Songs
(Contemporary, 1977), with Bennie Maupin and George Cables from the last release. During
these years, Shaw moved to San Francisco and got associated with some West Coast
musicians, such as Bobby Hutcherson, with whom he went on to record quite a few times in
his career.
In 1974, Shaw returned to New York, where he began recording for the Muse label, making
some of his most notable albums, like The Moontrane (1975), Love Dance (1976), Little Red's
Fantasy (1978) and Iron Men (1980). On all of these albums one can hear a gradual
development of Shaws style of playing as well as composing, reaching its full maturity.
In 1977, Shaw signed a recording contract with Columbia records, which was endorsed by
none other than Miles Davis, who had a very high opinion of Woody Shaw, considering that
he was a very harsh critic. It is well known that Davis said of Shaw: Theres a great trumpet
playerHe can play different from all of them. On the Columbia label, Shaw continued
recording some of the finest albums that he had made, like Rosewood (1977), Stepping
Stones: Live at the Village Vanguard (1978), Woody III (1979), For Sure! (1980) and United
(1981), with Rosewood being the only one in his career to get him two Grammy nominations,
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in the categories for the Best Jazz Instrumental Performance (Soloist) and Best Jazz
Instrumental Performance (Group).
Rosewood is also the first studio album that Shaw recorded with his concert ensemble,
having recorded one live recording of this ensemble a year before, in 1976, called The Woody
Shaw Concert Ensemble at the Berliner Jazztage (Muse). Shaw got the name from the concert
promoter in New York, Jimmy Harrison, who named McCoy Tyners band from his album
Inner Voices (Milestone, 1977) the concert ensemble. Shaw liked the way that that name
sounded, because for him it indicated a chamber-type music ensemble, a small orchestra. He
was very fond of this kind of ensemble, unlike playing in a big band or a classical orchestra.
He thought that with chamber-type music ensembles you can still achieve the orchestral
sound, and still have a context of a small group. (Woody Shaw, 1980)

2.2.3. 1980s

During the 1980s, Shaw recorded a number of albums which


included quite a few well-known jazz standards, which was
atypical for his earlier work. Those albums include Setting
Standards (Muse, 1983), Solid (Muse, 1986), In My Own Sweet Way (In + Out, 1986) and The
Time Is Right (Red, 1983), among others, on which Shaw displays a rather emotional way of
playing, which is also, to some extent, atypical for his earlier work. His thoughts in the
interview with Marc Chenard for Coda magazine can be considered as indicators of this
creative phase he was in the 1980s, when he stated that In my own career, I have come to
the point where I can use my horn to express my innermost feelings. [] I don't want the
trumpet to be a stereotyped high-note screech instrument. In fact, listening to Chet Baker has
been very enlightening to me. (Woody Shaw, 1986). He has been working with younger
musicians in this period, and he thought that he had the talent to groom young musicians
(Woody Shaw, Coda, 1976), for instance Kenny Garrett, on Shaws album Solid and Garretts
debut album Introducing Kenny Garrett (Criss Cross Jazz, 1984). Shaw also made some
collaborations with other musicians in this period, most notably with Dexter Gordon and
Freddie Hubbard, for instance on Gordons Gotham City (Columbia, 1980) and the
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collaboration albums with Hubbard, like Double Take (Blue Note, 1985) and Eternal Triangle
(Blue Note, 1987). Shaw had a very high opinion of Hubbards musicianship and trumpet
playing, which is evident in a lot of interviews that Shaw made, for example: People can say
all they want about him, but he's one of the great trumpet innovators in the history of jazz.
Freddie Hubbard has taken the instrument up to the level of it being "conservatory-wise".
Freddie Hubbard innovated it in that sense, and not Wynton Marsalis. (Woody Shaw, Coda,
1986). The playing of two trumpeters on these albums cannot be regarded as any kind of
competition, but more of a conversation on a very high musical level. As the jazz critic Scott
Yanow stated in his review of Double Take for the Allmusic internet site: Their meeting on
Double Take [Shaws and Hubbards] was more of a collaboration than a trumpet battle.
(1989).
Shaws health problems, caused by the use of drugs amongst other sources, were developing
over time, especially his condition of retinitis pigmentosa, the hereditary incurable eye
disease. This affected Shaws playing to the point at which he couldnt read music anymore.
Shaw talks about this topic frequently in his interviews, for example: My vision now is
impaired in the dark. It's night blindness. You become partially blind at night. But this has just
enhanced my hearing. When you lose one, you gain another. Another sense is enhanced.
(Woody Shaw, Coda, 1976) and: [] since my eyesight has been affected by retinitis
pigmentosa (a.k.a. tunnel vision), I cannot do much reading now. But I am confident of regaining my sight, and there are even some signs pointing to that. (Woody Shaw, Coda,
1986). The last album that Shaw recorded was Imagination (Muse, 1987), for which Scott
Yanow states the following: Trumpeter Woody Shaw's final album as a leader (cut less than
two years before his passing) is surprisingly upbeat. Although his health became shaky, Shaw
never declined as a player, as he shows throughout the spirited quintet outing. (Allmusic).

2.3. Death

Woody Shaws passing away was caused by the failure of internal organs at a hospital in
Brooklyn, New York, in the year of 1989. One of the causes of the failure of his internal

organs was a subway train severing his arm shortly before his death, most probably because
he wasnt able to see the train coming in his direction.

3. Innovations in the approach to soloing

3.1. Musical influences


In order to be an innovator on any musical instrument, a
striving musician must first absorb the works of musicians
who preceded him/her and, by applying the teachings of
the tradition learned with his/her own personal creativity and tastes, create a new style of
playing. If the sources of earlier works which are being studied and absorbed are not only
taken from the traditional lineage of the instrument which is subjected to innovation, but also
from the lineage of other instruments as well as other non-traditional sources, innovations
made can have the potential to be even more unique. In the terms of jazz trumpet, Woody
Shaw has succeeded in making unique innovations.
At the time in which Shaw was developing his musicianship and playing style, there were
already a lot of different playing styles from which he could derive, so it was not quite an easy
task to create something which has not already been done on the trumpet. The trumpet greats
whos playing styles Shaw absorbed include most prominently Dizzy Gillespie, Fats Navarro,
Clifford Brown and Miles Davis, as he stated in the interview for the Coda Magazine (Shaw,
1976), as well as Freddie Hubbard and Lee Morgan, as he wrote in the liner notes to his
album Double Take (Blue Note, 1985), saying: I had to tell Freddie [Hubbard], Without you
and Lee Morgan, I wouldnt have the style I have today.
However, what is to some extent even more important is that Shaw was heavily influenced by
saxophonists, pianists, organists and classical composers, with Eric Dolphy, John Coltrane,
McCoy Tyner, Larry Young, Bla Bartk and Zoltn Kodly being at the fore. In a part of this
aspect of development he was not alone, as some other trumpet players before him had also
studied the playing styles of saxophone players, including trumpeters Roy Eldridge, Fats

10

Navarro, Kenny Dorham and Freddie Hubbard, to name a few. He has discussed this topic
frequently in interviews with him. In the interview with Chuck Berg for Downbeat magazine
(1978), Shaw says: Ive been heavily influenced by Trane [John Coltrane] and Eric Dolphy
and saxophonists in general, so I see a unique course developing in my style. He also talks
about Freddie Hubbards and his attraction to studying the playing of saxophone players:
Like me, Freddie [Hubbard] studied with saxophone players, and tried to play the trumpet
like the saxophone, using pentatonic scales and intervals. (Double Take, Blue Note, 1985). In
an interview with Zan Stewart for Downbeat magazine (1980), Shaw explores more
thoroughly the topic of saxophone players influence on him, especially that of John Coltrane
and Eric Dolphy. Shaw states:
Well, the trumpet is limited to three valves, and after Clifford Brown we really got in a rut,
because he had played everything. Although Freddie Hubbard and all those guysare master
trumpeters, during the Sixties the saxophone really came to the fore. That was due to the
things that Trane was doing on the instrument. He did things that nobody else had ever
thought of before. And I feel pretty much that way about myself. Nobody was playing
pentatonic scales on the trumpet. Nobody was playing polytonality and what not. Its not that I
deliberately try to be different, its just something that grew on me. Ive always studied with
saxophonists and pianists. (p. 30)

In the same interview, Shaw further on states: Dolphys music always had structure and
form and changesI got used to playing different intervals, and harmonically I started to hear
another way, being able to superimpose another key, maybe three or four keys away, and
come back and resolve it. (p. 30). Also, in the interview for Coda magazine (Shaw, 1976)
Shaw talked about the influence of Eric Dolphy on him: My experiences with Eric Dolphy
were very valuable. I would like to credit him with forming my basic conception of where I
want to go. When I met Eric I was playing bebop. I looked at his music, man, and it
frightened me. But I could play it.
As for the influence on him from the piano players, Shaw looked upon McCoy Tyner as his
musical guru, [whos] proven very valuable to me (Shaw, 1976, Coda).
Shaws unconventional harmonic ideas were not only utilized in his playing style, but also in
his compositional style. In that, he was greatly influenced by the organist, Larry Young, with
whom he has recorded the now legendary album Unity (Blue Note, 1966), which has been
described as quite simply a masterpiece (Cook, Richard and Morton, Brian (2008) The
11

Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (9th ed.), Penguin, p. 1534.). In the interview with Lois
Gilbert for Musician magazine (1980), Shaw states the following about Larry Youngs
influence on his compositional skills:
Another area of my music development Larry Young inspired me to explore was composing.
Larry was first to record my music, and ironically, the tune he chose was the first one I wrote,
The Moontrane, and it was written in the pentatonic scale. It was funny to me that my first
composition is not only my most recorded tune, but I played it and recorded it many times as a
sideman long before I did it as a leader. (p. 4)

Youngs influence on Shaw is also evident when further on in the interview, Shaw stated:
Sometimes, I think I should have named The Moontrane, The Youngtrane since it was as
much a tribute to Larry Young as it was to John Coltrane (p. 4). In the interview with Lois
Gilbert on WRVR FM (1980), Shaw also stated about Young:
Larry had the most profound influence on me in particular, at that time which really lasted up
till now, and I use a lot of his techniques now, for instancethe pentatonic scale, which is
used in Africa and in the Orient, and Larry was the first one I ever heard play that!

European classical music composers also had a great impact on Shaws approach to harmony,
melody, rhythm and general musicianship. His son, Woody Louis Armstrong III writes in his
article Who is Woody Shaw? (2012) for the International Trumpet Guild about the influence
of classical composers and types of music from different parts of the world on his father:
He [Woody Shaw] was very deeply involved with the works of such European composers as
Bla Bartk, Zoltn Kodly, Arnold Schoenberg, Maurice Ravel, Colin McPhee, Carlos
Chavez, Paul Hindemith, Alexander Scriabin, Oliver Messiaen and many others. He was also
attuned to the indigenous musical languages of Africa, Asia, the South Pacific, the Middle East
and beyond. Such an eclectic range of interests provided Woody Shaw with a unique palette
of sounds, styles and compositional and improvisational logics, upon which to develop his own
conception as a jazz musician.

This influence can also be seen in Shaws composition Zoltan, in which he used the march
from Zoltn Kodlys Hary Janos Suite: The opening track, Zoltan, is Woodys. It begins
with the march from Zoltn Kodlys Hary Janos Suite because I like the way he used the
bass line (Nat Hentoff in: Larry Young, Unity, Blue Note, 1966).
In time, Shaw was very much aware of the impact that his unique way of approaching the
trumpet as an instrument, as well as a vehicle to improvising had on the up-and-coming
12

trumpet players and musicians in general, when he stated that: Stylistically and conceptionwise, you gotta come from somebody and somewhere, but I honestly feel now that I've
acquired my own way of playing the trumpet, the way I hear it, and I've become a major
innovator and influence on the instrument. (Shaw, 1976, Coda). Apart from the trumpet, he
was also interested in playing the fluegelhorn. He felt that it was quite a different instrument
compared to the trumpet, for which he was developing a different concept of playing. In his
own words:
[] I've recently taken up the fluegelhorn, which has opened up even another dimension. I
used to hate the fluegelhorn, but now I'm playing it and I'm trying to play it as a completely
separate instrument from the trumpet, which it is. I'm developing a fluegelhorn concept which
is different than my trumpet concept. (Shaw, 1976, Coda)

3.2. Previous analysis of Shaws improvising concepts

There are not many works which are concerned with in-depth analysis of Woody Shaws
concept of improvising and playing the trumpet, but
a few exist. There is the work of Eric ODonnell, An
Analysis of the Major Aspects of Woody Shaws
Improvisatory Approach (2009), which may be the
most thorough analysis of Woody Shaws concepts
that is written by now. In his work, ODonnell is
concerned with the historical background of Shaws
improvisatory concepts as well as pinpointing the concrete features of his style. ODonnell
categorizes the features as follows: 1) repeated notes and alternate fingerings, 2) rhythmic
phrasing atypical of conventional rhythmic patterns, 3) harmonic vocabulary, 4) a pentatonic
approach to diatonic progressions, 5) temporary imposition of bimodality, 6) the use of
chromatic cells, 7) long range voice leading. He came to his conclusions by transcribing and
analyzing some of Shaws solos on his original compositions from the albums Rosewood
(Woody Shaw, Columbia, 1977), Stepping Stones (Woody Shaw, Columbia, 1979) and
Anthenagin (Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Prestige, 1977).
13

There is also the Structural Elegance and Harmonic Disparity in Selected Solos by Jazz
Trumpeters Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw by Edward Rex Richardson (2006), which is
partly concerned with Shaws playing, as well as Freddie Hubbards. In this work, Richardson
categorizes the features of Shaws playing style as 1) disguised traditional chromatism, 2)
contour or sequence, 3) progressive modal agreement, 4) rhythmic devices, 5) alternative
dominant chord chromatism, 6) modal reharmonization. Richardson also discusses the
importance of the influence that saxophone players had on Woody Shaw and his creating of a
unique style.
Books with detailed transcriptions of some selected solos of Shaw can also be found, for
example Woody Shaw: Jazz Trumpet Solos, transcribed by Dale Carley (1979), which greatly
helps in the process of analyzing Shaws style of playing. Solos transcribed in this book are
exclusively taken from Shaws original compositions.

3.3. Shaws key innovative features in analyzed solos on Jazz Standards

While previous analysis of Shaws innovative improvisational concepts are based on


analyzing his solos on his original compositions, for this thesis I have chosen to analyze
Shaws solos on standard jazz tunes. The reasons that I have chosen so are that, as I stated, in
previous analysis, Shaws solos on standard jazz tunes were not analyzed and because I find
that analyzing his solos on standards is much more comprehensible, meaning that his
innovations are much more easily noticeable. Also, in Shaws later years, he recorded quite a
few standard jazz tunes on albums such as Setting Standards (Woody Shaw, Muse, 1984),
Solid (Woody Shaw, Muse, 1987) and Imagination (Woody Shaw, Muse, 1988), on which his
playing style has fully matured, which is one more reason for analyzing his solos on
standards.
In previous analysis of Shaws playing concept, features of his playing style which were
categorized by ODonnell and Richardson were not all inventions in jazz trumpet playing, but,
as stated, the most prominent features of his style, some of which were in general use by other
trumpet players before him. I have taken only the key innovations that Shaw brought into jazz
14

trumpet playing and categorized them in three distinguished parts: 1) Harmonic innovations,
2) Melodic innovations and 3) Rhythmic innovations, which I found analyzing his solos on
following tunes: There Will Never Be Another You (Woody Shaw, Solid, Muse, 1986), What
Is This Thing Called Love (Woody Shaw, United, Columbia, 1981), You And The Night And
The Music (Woody Shaw, Imagination, Muse, 1987) and Sandu (Freddie Hubbard and
Woody Shaw, Double Take, Blue Note, 1985).

3.3.1. Harmonic innovations

Harmonic innovations that Shaw most noticeably used in playing are 1) bimodality and 2) use
of pentatonic scales.

3.3.1.1. Bimodality

Bimodality is the use of two different modes (tonalities) at the same time. Im using the term
bimodality rather than bitonality because it has a broader meaning, not confining itself
only to diatonic harmony scales, as bitonality implies, but reaching also to different modes as
well. In the context of Shaws soloing, it means that he at some particular times played in a
mode (tonality) that differed from the one which was written in the scores; so to say he played
a superimposed mode over the one in the scores. This harmonic device was already in use by
some jazz musicians as well as classical music composers, but it was not so strongly in use by
trumpet players of that time and certainly not in the way that Shaw used it. In jazz, it was
prominently used by John Coltrane, on many of his recordings, for example My Favorite
Things (1961, Atlantic Records), Giant Steps (1960, Atlantic Records) and A Love Supreme
(1965, Impulse! Records). In classical music, composers such as Igor Stravinsky and Bla
Bartk were using this device extensively, which can be seen in Stravinskys Rite Of Spring
(1913) and Bartks Boating from his six-volume collection of piano pieces, Mikrokosmos

15

(1926 1939). Since these musicians heavily influenced Shaws approach to music, one can
easily see from where his use of bimodality derived.
Bimodality in Shaws playing was achieved by playing in a mode or tonality that was mostly
located a half step, whole step or a tritone away from the original tonalities in the tune that
was being played. This is used to create a temporary dissonance, only to return to the
consonant chord tone at some point. This way of using bimodality was also used by other jazz
trumpet players, but just as passing phrases, wherein Shaw played the imposed modes and
tonalities as independent sounds. He was not just going out randomly from the original
mode, but was playing the exact mode or tonality over the original one, so to say he was
thinking in the imposed mode, not the original one and its extensions. Following are some of
the examples of bimodality in Shaws solos, written in the key of Bb.
1)

Figure 1. There Will Never Be Another You, measures 33-34; Bimodality.

In this example, we can observe how Shaw imposed F# Major over the harmonies of C7, F
Major and again C7. This is a strong example of his use of bimodality, as he goes to a key that
is located a half step above one of the harmonies and tritone away from the other, creating
some of the biggest dissonances that can be made.
2)

Figure 2. There Will Never Be Another You, measure 49; Bimodality.

Here, Shaw imposed F# Major over C7. This particular example can be also viewed from
another point, that Shaw played the extensions of the C7 chord, which would be #11, #9 and
16

b9 respectively, but hearing this example and seeing in which way the notes were arranged
gives the definite impression that Shaw had the F# Major scale or the F# Ionian mode on his
mind.
3)

Figure 3. Sandu, measure 16; Bimodality.

In this example, Shaw imposed the B Major scale over the C-7 and F7 harmonies, which
further on resolve to Bb Major chord, so it is safe to say that he had in mind the harmonic
movement of a half step up from the resolving key.

3.3.1.2. Use of pentatonic scales

Another one of Shaws innovative approaches in the context of jazz trumpet playing was the
extensive use of pentatonic scales, superimposed or not, which he played over diatonic
harmonies as well as the modal ones. This way of playing was, of course, the result of the
heavy influence that John Coltrane had on Shaws playing style. Here, I will address his use
of the pentatonic approach to diatonic harmony, because playing pentatonic scales over modal
harmony was already in use by other trumpet players, e.g. Miles Davis on his record Kind Of
Blue (1959, Columbia Records). Approaching diatonic harmonies with pentatonic scales
allowed Shaw to make a rather special color of sound when playing jazz standards. This
approach can be seen in the following examples.
1)

17

Figure 4. What Is This Thing Called Love, measure 23; Pentatonic scale over diatonic
harmony.

In this example, Shaw plays the Bb Major pentatonic scale over the Bb7 chord, which, paired
with the piano players appropriate voicing of the chord, creates the sound color that he was
after.
2)

Figure 5. What Is This Thing Called Love, measures 39 and 40; Pentatonic scale over
diatonic harmony and bitonality.

Here, Shaw plays the B Major pentatonic scale over the E half-diminished and A7 chords,
which is at the same time an example of his usage of bimodality as well as the pentatonic
approach.
3)

Figure 6. What Is This Thing Called Love, measures 8 10; Pentatonic scale over diatonic
harmony and bitonality.

Here, as well as in the preceding example, a sample of both pentatonic approach as well as the
usage of bimodality can be observed. Here, Shaw imposed an E Major pentatonic scale over
the harmonies of A7 and D Major 7.

18

4)

Figure 7. What Is This Thing Called Love, measures 70 and 71; Pentatonic scale over
diatonic harmony and bimodality.

Here, it can be observed how Shaw imposed the C minor pentatonic and F# major pentatonic
scales over the harmonies of G minor 7 and E half-diminished. (The sign for G minor 7 is
omitted because it is already present in the preceding bar.)

3.3.2. Melodic innovations

The second category of Shaws innovations to jazz trumpet playing is concerned with his
usage of wide intervals in soloing.
Before the impact that Woody Shaw had on jazz trumpeters, soloing in the context of jazz
music on this instrument was most commonly based on playing intervals like thirds, seconds
and chromatic passing notes. This is due to the build of the instrument itself, which makes it
much easier for players to play narrow intervals rather than wide ones, which require much
more practice of flexibility on the instrument. There were some trumpet players who at times
incorporated wide intervals in their soloing, for instance Kenny Dorham, although their use of
wide intervals was not predominant in soloing, but used as a small part of some phrases or as
a passing effect. What influenced this usage of wide intervals was the influence of saxophone
players on trumpeters. In the case of Woody Shaw, its safe to say that this wide interval
approach was a playing device adopted from John Coltranes playing style. It came to be one
of the most distinguished marks of Shaws playing style, because of his great emphasis on this
element of soloing and an apparent facility in execution. He approached virtually every solo
he recorded with wide intervals and found ways to execute them that were brand new for
trumpet players. (John McNeil, The Art Of Jazz Trumpet, 1999, p. 17). One thing that
19

possibly led to the facility that Shaw presented by playing lines which included wide intervals
in a wide range of tempos was the way he articulated those lines. John McNeil discusses this
aspect in his book The Art Of Jazz Trumpet (1999):
Woodys articulation was very personal, and was much affected by the structure of his lines.
Woody followed the standard practice of tonguing skips and slurring steps, but he also
incorporated articulations such as ta-ka and la-da in some of his more complex phrases. I
know this only because he told me so; it was impossible for me to discern what he was doing
from recordings or live observation. Woodys patterns of articulation also varied widely with the
intervallic structure of a particular line. (p. 17)

Following are some of the examples of Shaws intervallic approach found in solos on
standard jazz tunes which are self-explanatory.
1)

Figure 8. You And The Night And The Music, measures 16 and 17; Intervallic approach.

2)

Figure 9. You And The Night And The Music, measures 40 and 41; Intervallic approach.

3)

Figure 10. Sandu, measures 35 37; Intervallic approach.

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3.3.3. Rhythmic innovations

In his playing, Shaws approach to rhythm was quite atypical from that of his peers and
predecessors on the trumpet. Regarding this aspect, Eric ODonnell writes in his An Analysis
of the Major Aspects of Woody Shaws Improvisatory Approach (2009) the following:
Instead of continuous lines of uniform eight notes, Shaw preferred a line with diverse and
unpredictable rhythms, reminiscent of his mentor Eric Dolphy. (p. 27). Most common
features of Shaws rhythmic phrasing are the use of five-note and seven-note groupings
which gave his phrasing an interesting out-of-time effect (John McNeil, The Art Of Jazz
Trumpet, 1999, p. 17) and sudden changes from one group of note values to another, e.g. from
eight-notes to sixteen-notes, from quarter-notes to seven-note groupings etc. While he was
playing odd note groupings in his solos, Shaw most probably did not think of the exact note
grouping he wanted to execute; he was probably just after the out-of-time effect. Because of
this kind of playing, there are some phrases in Shaws solos that do not have a definite
rhythmic structure that can be written down, so different transcriptions of a same phrase in his
solos vary greatly depending on how the transcriber heard the phrase and wanted it written.
Following are some examples of Shaws rhythmic phrasing.
1)

Figure 11. Sandu, measures 31 34; Atypical rhythmic phrasing.

In this example, we can observe how Shaw rapidly changes from one note grouping to
another, e.g. from sixteen-notes to eight-note triplets, then from eight-notes to sixteen-note
triplets and from sixteen-note triplets to thirty two-notes, respectively. This is one of the
prime examples of Shaws common atypical rhythmic phrases.
21

2)

Figure 12. You And The Night And The Music, measures 32 36; Atypical rhythmic
phrasing.

Here, the rhythmic phrasing in the bar 33 is very hard to transcribe, so this is one of the ways
that it can be done. We can also, as in the first example, see how Shaw suddenly changes the
note groupings, from seven-note groupings to sixteen-notes and then from a half note to eightnotes.

4. Interviews

I have made interviews with some people who have been working with Woody Shaw and had
been close to him, like the bassist/composer Peter Herbert, bassist/composer and longtime
collaborator of Shaws, Stafford James and Annette Neuffer, Shaws fiance. The purpose of
these interviews in my bachelor thesis is to try and make an image of Shaws personality, to
some extent, through the experiences that his colleagues and friends had with him and to
show how it related to his musical thinking and creating. I did this because I havent found
any texts in the books, the internet or any other sources that are concerned with the subject of
Shaws personality and relations with people around him, which is a very common topic for
biographers of other well-known musicians. The interview with Peter Herbert was conducted
in person and transcribed from a recording device. Interviews with Stafford James and
Annette Neuffer were conducted via email. The answers of the interviewees on my questions
were not edited in any way, they are all presented here in original form. I have asked all three
interviewees some questions which were the same, because I wanted to hear different
opinions of each interviewee on the same topic.

22

4.1. Interview with Peter Herbert

I: How did and when did it come to you working with Woody Shaw?
P: When, thats a good question, I think it was 85, 86, something like that, and I played with
Tone Jansa Quartet with Renato Chicco and Dragan Gajic from Ljubljana and we were
playing a lot as a quartet. Tone at the time was with the Dutch label Timeless Records and the
manager was Wim Wigt, he had organized a little tour for us in Europe and he drove from
Graz to Germany, to this place, Im not sure where it was, maybe Cologneanyway, the club
was closed, so there was no gig and we were basically on the street, and back then there were
no cell phones, just analogue phones, so Tone called Wim Wigt and complained, and said you
fucked upand then Wim Wigt said yeah, Im sorry, there was some misunderstanding with
the club, but he offered that we come to the studio that he usually records at in Holland, in
Eindhoven maybeanyway, he said If you come tomorrow morning by my office well talk
about everything and tomorrow night were gonna do a record with you and Woody Shaw,
because he was also managing Woody Shaw. So, we couldnt believe it, Woody Shaw, wow!
So we drove to Wim Wigts office, in the morning we had coffee, and I guess Tone made the
deal with him and then he sent us to the studio, we drove there, that was in Holland already,
we were there in the afternoon, and Woody was supposed to show up around 16h or 17h. So,
we were sitting around, and nobody showed up. Finally, around 20.30h Woody showed up,
pretty high I think, with his (back then) Italian-American wife, her name was Theresa maybe.
They showed up obviously pretty cracked out. Tone had prepared all this charts for Woody,
but back then his eyesight was so bad that he couldnt read music and Tone was freaking out
about that, How are we supposed to do a record with Woody not able to read. But then,
Tone taught Woody the heads of the tunes, mostly his tunes, that he wanted to play with
Woody. And then Woody learned the tunes within, like, two minutes. Then, we had to put in
front of his microphone a big white paper so that he would actually blow into the microphone,
cause he would just walk around and miss the microphone. So we did that first record, that
evening in, I think, four hours, 8 tunes or 10 tunes, and thats how we started to play with
Woody. That kind of became a band for 2 years, I think, and Wim Wigt organized a lot of

23

concerts in Europe so I was touring a lot with that setupso, thats how it happened, in the
years 85, 86, 87, something like that.
I: What was your first impression of Woody as a person?
P: Besides being high, he was a wonderful human being. We did many tours afterwards, and
when he was touring along with us, he was mostly clean. He did drugs when he was with his
wife, but he always sounded great. He was a total gentleman also to me, I mean, I was very
young and didnt even know what to say because I had so much respect for himyeah, he
was very sweet, you know, and very supportive.
I: How old were you at that time?
P: I was 26.
I: When you recorded the album Woody Shaw with the Tone Jansa Quintet, what was
Woodys view on alternate takes? Did he want to make the recording raw or perfect?
P: If I recall, we didnt have much time to do this record, and I think lots of them were first
takes, and we were all in the same room, basically, so there was no way to overdub or do any
of that. It was the time of tapes, you know, each tape was very expensiveso I dont think
that we did a lot of takes. Woody just learned every tune, we rehearsed it and then pushed the
button and that was pretty much it.
I: and the magic came out?
P: Yeah, its not that magic, I think. First record isits okay, but there is a second record,
Doctor Chi, which isnot bad. Thats the better one of the two, I think.
I: Is there any difference between his personality in the studio and outside of it, so on stage
and off stage?
P: No, he was the same sweet guy, all the time, very gentle. He did a lot of Tai Chi, you
know. Whenever he had a free minute, he would just do the Tai Chi. Also, when we were
travelling, every few hours we would make a stop, and the first thing he would do was Tai
Chi. He also did that on stage in front of the audience, when he didnt play. He just walked to
the side of the stage and do some Tai Chi movements and go back to play the head out.
I: So that was really important to him?
24

P: I guess, yeah, I mean he was on and off heavily on the drugs and I think that Tai Chi was
probably some sort of rescuing him from the drug, I think. Its just another thing to do instead
of getting high, so I think for that reason it was important to him.
I: Have you had a lot of touring with him, throughout Europe?
P: Yes, throughout Europe. Timeless Records back then was one of the bigger ones in Europe,
so they had a good management, and we played lots of festivals, from Italy to Germany,
everywhere, basically. We got in to the car, drove for six, ten hours, do the concert and the
next day the same thing and that went on for weeks at times.
I: What kind of repertoire did you play? Have you played only originals of his and yours or
some standards also?
P: Yeah, we didnt play any standards, just the originals, Tones and I think a couple of
Woodys tunes.
I: Have you talked with him about what were his main thoughts at that time about the
direction to which jazz and music in general were going?
P: We didnt talk that much about that, probably because I was so young and I was so happy
to be in the band, you know, I didnt question where the music was going, I was totally
freaking out that I was playing with such a wonderful musician. But, once I kinda became the
guy who picked Woody up from the hotel, and we always did the sound check without him,
let him be at the hotel, and I went to pick him up. And one day, I had to bang (on the door) for
a long time, and then I think his half-naked wife opened the hotel room door, and said: Yeah,
Woodys coming, and I said: Man, were late, you know and she said: Yeah, hes
coming, and the door closed and I waited another half an hour, and gig had started 45
minutes agoso finally, Woody comes out of the room, and we got to the car, and Woody
said to me: You know Peter, music is a bitch. Because, what he meant probably was, you
know, when youre a musician, when you play music, you are in that song and theres no
room for anything else. But he had to nurture this relationship with his woman, and whenever
he went playing, he wasnt with his woman, you know, so he had to divide his time. So, I
guess he was struggling a little bit with that, but I remember that very clearly, Music is a
bitch.

25

I: Did his music and his way of playing reflect his personality, or vice versa?
P: No, I dont think so. I think Woody was, more or less a natural genius, you know. Cause
the way he played was so unique, starting in the sixties, you know, he came to the scene and
he was always this, once again, gentle guy in the background, you know, he was never
aggressive with business and all that. Just listening to him, you would think that he must be a
macho, leading type. He was quite the opposite, he was totally gentleno ambitions in terms
of business, you know. Its funny, with did one concert, the same band did one concert with
him and Freddie Hubbard on the same build, it was at the Berlin festival, I thinkand,
Freddie and Woody showed up late as well, coming to the sound check, Freddie had dark sun
glassesI think they did some drugs together in the hotel. Freddie was that typical macho
guy, big and strong, he barely said hello to us. So, what are we gonna play? he asked, so we
played some standards because there was no time to for a rehearsal. I remember Body and
Soul, for instance, and Birdlike we played, that fast Freddies blues, and they both sounded
great, really really good, but it was kind of a strange concept, it was sold out of course, and
then when we played Body and Soul, during Woodys solo I think, Freddie walked over to
our piano player and just pushed him away, started comping and said: These are the
changes. Obviously, the piano player played one wrong chord or something, you knowso
he was really acting like Im the king. And then, the second set, on the third tune we played
together, Freddie Hubbard just packed up his trumpet on the stage and jumped down to the
audience and left the hall in front of the audience. So, we finished the concert just as a quintet
with Woody, and that was quite shocking for us, and for the audience, and for everybody, you
know. And the next day, we asked Woody what happened with Freddie last night, you know,
why did he leave. Woody didnt say much, he said Oh, I guess he was just tired.
I: I wanted to ask you about the health issues he had involving his eyesight and how that
affected his work, but you already answered me on that by saying that he couldnt read music
at that time. Has there been any bitterness in him involving that?
P: No, there was absolutely no bitterness in himnone. I think he had diabetes and that was
the reason for his eye problemsthen, later on I also think that he had Aids, and I dont know
if you know how he passed away?

26

I: Yeah, with the accident with the train first, and then some of his internal organs failed, I
think.
P: Yeah, he lost his arm in the train accidentactually, he was in the hospital and he wanted
to get drugs, thats why he left the hospital and went down to the subway, and the subway car
cut of his arm. And then, he went back to the hospital, and the complications with the
diabetes, aids and, possibly, some sort of cancer just killed him two months later.
I: So, in his later years he was really dependent on drugs.
P: Yeah, I think he went on and off drugs all his life, because in the sixties, everybody did
drugs, there was no exception, and the drug of choice in the sixties was heroin, so everybody
was shooting up. The ones who were able to quit, they survived, and half of them diedand
he was one of them.
I: Has playing with him had any impact on your musicianship generally, during that time? Did
he influence you in some way, your playing, your way of thinking about music?
P: It probably didI mean, I have just finished studying in Graz, and I was kind of this young
lion, and I played very virtuosic back then, because I was able to do it, and probably with not
a lot of taste, you know. I mean, Woody, when he got going on, he played incredible stuff, of
course I wanted to play as good as him, at least in terms of energy. Actually, recently I got a
DVD from a friend, it was like a live recording of the Hamburg Jazz Festival, I think, theres
just one tune on it. There was the head, and a great trumpet solo, and there was a bass soloI
just couldnt believe what I played, I would never play that stuff again, I was like all over the
place. So untasty, it had nothing to do with the music, it was just high energy. But its a good
documentary to have, cause you forget how you sounded, even if there are recordings, you
know, but the live situation is a different one than in the studio.
I: Have you had anything close to studying with him, or exchanging thoughts about some
genres in music, or the way of playing, harmony, rhythm?
P: Weve never talked about that. Part of the reason was that we had two cars with this band
and when Woody was driving with us, he was driving with Tone and I was driving with
Dragan, I guess, and Renato. All those many hours on the road, I didnt have time to talk to
Woody. But, in 87, I have applied for the Fulbright scholarship for Berklee College of Music
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and I needed some reference letters, and I asked Woody to write one for me. He wrote me this
beautiful letter of recommendation that probably got me in, you know. In general, it was a
very friendly atmosphere, you knowits like, hes a human being, a humble one, so was I, I
guess. So it always felt like we are on the same level, he was never really a star.
I: Yeah, thats really important when youre working with a musician of that caliber.
P: he was the only trumpet player who could play certain things, you knowno Freddie
Hubbard could do what he was doing. That makes him really unique. Some trumpet player
even told that they couldnt even figure it out, how he does it, all this wide interval stuff.

4.2. Interview with Stafford James

I: How and when did it first come to your working with Woody Shaw and what were your
first impressions of him?
S: Woody Shaw knew that I had just come back from Paris to where I was studying at the
time, as I was also a student. He like very much that I knew the classical repertoire, as I was
then studying with Julius Levine in New York also. When I saw him performing with Art
Blakey in approx. 1972-3, I then told him that he was my favorite trumpet player, as I had
taken a few lessons from Freddy Hubbard. In 1975 he called me to do his album "Little Red's
Fantasy" on the Muse Records label. From that time forward we became closer, as in the
period, if there was an major seven flat 5 chord, piano players always wanted the bass to play
a normal 5th in their walking line but I wanted to hear a flatted 5th in my walking line. If you
listen, this is what you will hear and that was what Woody liked about me. I could play intune, so that one could really hear the chord from both perspectives
I: Was it easy to connect with him on a personal level as well as musical?
S: Not for me because I never looked at him and his group as the only thing that I wanted to
do. You must understand that in these times, if I made an R&B recording, the R&B musicians
didn't like you if you played Jazz music. When I played with chamber groups and the
orchestra, they didn't like you if you played Jazz music and the Jazz musicians, at the time
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didn't like you if you played classical music. Quite crazy but Woody was one of the very, very
few who liked me for that reason and that I did not depend on him as my sole source, as I
wanted to experience as much as I could and be qualified to meet the challenges of everything
that I undertook. This ultimately brought us closer together, if you see what I mean, as at any
time, I would go off to perform something else of interest. ie, a chamber music ensemble or
string ensemble or to compose something.
I: How big was the impact that you both made on each other, in terms of general musicianship
during the time you worked with him?
S: As I stated, Woody admired the fact that I played different musics and had studied in
France. We would read scores together, as I would always have scores with me of the musics
of Ravel, Debussy, Bartok or Stravinsky, plus the music and he enjoyed going through scores
together, as well as when we would practice together..That I remember the most because we
would really hone-in on matching the tone of the arco bass and the trumpet and the
fluegelhorn by playing Bach suites together among other things. He took brilliant solos and on
ALL of my compositions!!!
I: Do you think that his music reflected his personality?
S: Yes, I do but you must understand that he was indeed ahead of what guys were playing at
the time. They were not playing much in lydian, phrygian and pentatonics, they were for the
most part diatonic players and Woody's style was a bit imposing, if you see what I mean. He
developed more than any player that I heard at the time, in my humble opinion and you can
hear it in his compositions.
I: Can you compare his personality on stage and off stage, if there was any difference?
S: Woody, first and foremost was a great band leader. I was his eyes and go-to guy when
there was a problem. One night in Paris, while trying to climb the stairs, which were kind of
dark, he dropped his horn down five flights of stairs. It was pretty messed up. I could hear him
call out my name. I came running, got his mangled horn and then found OLIPHANT horn
repair in Paris. OLIPHANT repairs all of the horns of the Republican Guard, as well as
orchestral players. When we returned to Paris, I picked up the repaired horn and he played it

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brilliantly and would always thank me graciously. So, even though to some, he may have
been brash, we had a great respect for each other on and off the bandstand.
I: In our earlier conversation, you said that Woody and you played not only your music, but
other kinds of music as well. Can you tell me more about his interest in other kinds of music
beside jazz and to what extent did it affect his music and musicianship?
S: Woody also loved the music of Zoltan Kodaly and Bela Bartok. I can remember when we
played Kodaly's "Sonatina for cello and piano" together. One of my favorite pieces also and it
sounds beautiful with horn and bass playing the melodic part. He didn't like the more
commercial forms of music too much but that was what I liked about him.
I: Can you tell me some of his main thoughts about the direction in which jazz and music in
general were going at the time you were playing together?
S: In the seventies, fusion music entered the foray and this, in my opinion started to throw
things in a direction that hoped to eliminate the "walking bass". To walk the bass was the Jazz
that I grew up with and I credit Woody Shaw for trying to keep this tradition alive, to where
Miles Davis had to give the nod to our group, as we were the only group that really kept the
tradition alive 24/7 at this time...
I: Can you tell me about his spirituality and if it linked with his musicianship as well as
personal relations?
S: Woody got involved with tai-chi and this did have an impact on his spiritual outlook, as
well as his music.
I: Have his health issues involving his eyesight had any impact on his creating of music and
musical career at that time?
S: Well, I think that this would affect anyone in this situation but as a friend, I think that he
never used this as a crutch. His musical ears were giant and I can say that I am most pleased
and proud to have known Woody Shaw in my lifetime as we never played badly, it was either
great or spiritual and I have been blessed to have experienced this life with an innovative
musician such as Mr. Woody Shaw and when one can witness growth in any human being in
their lifetime, this is truly a blessing, to which his music will indeed transcend the times.
Thank you,
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Stafford James
musician/composer

4.3. Interview with Annette Neuffer

I: How and when have you first met Woody Shaw and what were your first impressions of
him?
A: I first met Woody in Munich in December 1987. He was playing with the Paris Reunion
Band at the jazz club Allotria. Of course I went there to hear Nat Adderley and Woody.
Actually I was a bit disappointed at first, since Woody seemed to be unhealthy and not the
shape he used to be. I had no information about his personal circumstances, but it was obvious
that something was wrong.
I would have never dared to approach him, but I sat at an empty table and during the break he
sat down vice versa.
I actually dislike these people who approach and often bother famous musicians on gigs,
telling them that they are also some kind of (mostly amateur) musicians and all the great
things they have done already and maybe even what the performing musician should do better
all of that blah blah. I think that this is disrespectful, so I didn't want to bother him and
remained silent...
Due to his being almost blind, he didn't see who I was either.
All over sudden he looked at me and said: "I feel a strong vibe over there, who are you?
I told him my name and said hello. That didn't seem sufficient and he literally started an
investigation:
"What is your occupation?"
"I'm a student."
"What are you studying?"
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"Music."
"What instrument???"
"Jazz trumpet."
"Whaaaaaaaaaat? Jazz trumpet? What sign are you?" (Woody was into that.)
"Capricorn."
That seemed to knock his socks off and he called some of his fellow musicians: "Can you
believe this lady is studying jazz trumpet and she is a Capricorn too?"
Then he asked me about the impression I had of him. I told him honestly that to me he seemed
to be in some kind of sorrow.
He said I was right and asked me whether we could meet again, which we finally did some
month later in March 88, when he was on tour with Joe Haider's group. Ever since then, we
met and travelled together when possible.
I: Was it easy to connect with him on a personal level?
A: Woody was easily accessible for those whom he instinctively liked. Also due to his bad
sight, he had an incredible intuition and either he really liked you or didn't bother if possible.
I: Has he made any impact on your general musicianship during the time you spent with him?
Also, what were his thoughts of your trumpet playing and singing at that time?
A: At that time I was a mere beginner, but I realized right away that Woody was in another
dimension of music than almost all others. He perceived music in everything, in common
everyday situations, for instance the sound of a motor cycle passing by or the humming of an
elevator. He would say "D flat" or whatever the pitch was while it took me a second to get
what he was talking about.
I truly consider Woody a a savant, a brilliant mind, but the most amazing feature about his
very avantgarde imagination was his deep connection to the roots of jazz. He even named his
son Woody Louis Armstrong Shaw, which tells everything about it. While other musicians are
playing the same notes but can't make it sound organic it was his deep feeling, the warmest
human soul and respect to the heritage of jazz which could make the unconventional sound so
natural. Today there are so many "experts" who push everything only because it's new and put
32

everything down if it's not. But that's just plain nonsense and these folks have no idea what
counts in music! Sound, phrasing, timing, honesty! That's what I want when I make or listen
to music too.
We once spent a week in Mallorca, where he played at a club every night and some other
musicians came by. He let a couple of people sit in and I was amazed that the ones he liked
less were sometimes the ones who had good technical skills, but were not touching him. The
other way round, he was really encouraging and supportive to players who were maybe
technically not so good but had the right feeling. That was also the case with my playing.
At that time I hadn't start to sing yet. He told me: "You are a person that has a lot to say, and
you've got to practice night and day to make it come out." He often asked me to sit in, but I
didn't want to, since I considered my abilities too humble for that.
One day he got me trapped, asking me whether he could play the gig on my trumpet, so we
went there with two horns. Then he announced on stage that now his fianc would sit in and
pulled my trumpet out.
I almost dropped dead, but it went well! We did Lullaby Of Birdland and Straight, No Chaser.
I will never forget that. He definitely listened with his heart and didn't care for high tech
freaks that cannot swing.
I: Do you think that his music reflected his personality, and vice versa?
A: Of course, Woody was a very deep and highly intelligent personality with sometimes
almost clairvoyant abilities. So it's only natural he would come up with exceptional
developments. Even Miles Davis said to me one day: "Do you dig Woody's notes? I hope so,
because Woody's notes are the hippest notes I've ever heard!"
I: Can you compare his personality on stage and off stage, if there was any difference?
A: I think that he was the same guy on and off stage which speaks for his authenticy. What
made him appear drastically different was the use of drugs though. When he was sober, he
sometimes even said "I cannot play" and suffered of a total lack of confidence. A few minutes
and illegal substances later he would feel and do great. That really saddened me. He always
begged me "Never ever to touch that stuff" and of course I never will. It was enough for me to
see where it lead to with Woody.
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I: What were his main thoughts at that time about the direction to which jazz and music in
general were going?
A: Well, he was not too fond of some high speed heavy duty young lions, because that wasn't
his heart of the matter. He didn't care for the players that had no consciousness of tradition
and the roots of jazz.
Woody seemed like a musical skyscraper to me, the more upper stories it has, the deeper it
must be settled in the ground. He derived the future out of the past and saw that this was not
common with lots of recent musician.
I once asked him how it came that, after all his own compositions, he was exclusively playing
standards on his gigs.
He replied: "There is nothing more beautiful than a good standard - simply because it has to
be good enough to become one!" He didn't care whether music was Dixieland, Avantgarde,
Classic or whatever. He was interested in all good music if it had the right spirit and I never
heard him make any predictions of where jazz or music will go to. His thoughts were more
about where it came from, but maybe someone else knows more about that point than me.
I: Can you tell me about his spirituality and how did it link with his musicianship as well as
personal relations?
A: Woody was raised Christian by his parents. I think they were very believing people and so
was Woody. Music had a religious dimension to him, sort of a psychic who can let all
inpirational energies pass through him unfiltered and unblocked by inhibitions. He was able to
dive into that dimension much deeper than normal people, but at the same time his sensitivity
made him also more vulnerable.
He was a very warm-hearted and loving person and also very dependant on being loved.
When his marriage to Maxine Gordon (his son's mother and later the wife of Dexter Gorden)
broke, he broke as well. As far as he told me, it was then when he got involved with the
wrong people and drugs.
I: Have his health issues involving his eyesight had any impact on his creating of music and
musical career at that time?

34

A: Definitely! As a trumpet player you know how important it is to be in good physical and
mental shape. The trumpet is a demanding instrument and if you feel weak, it will negatively
affect your chops and self confidence.
This lead Woody (and many other famous musicians) to more consumption of drugs which is
a vicious circle.
At that point, and though there were a lot of good people, like for instance Gaby Kleinschmidt
and Mike Hennessey or Joe Haider who tried to help him, he was also in touch with evil guys
who provided drugs and took advantage of him. The word spreads very quickly if a former
star is on his way downhill, organizers and agents will not be interested anymore which keeps
the vicious circle going. Friends (including myself) are getting tired of the circumstances and
threats related to drugs and their dealers and so on....
The complete loss of his sight was depressing as well, although there were plans to have the
cataract operated.
That would have been a great progress for Woody, but due to the subway accident it couldn't
be realized anymore.
That is really sad since on the day before the accident we talked on the phone (he stayed at his
parents' house in Newark, doing a Methadone therapy) and he sounded very optimistic and
full of plans. He told me he was going to a party at Max Roach's house and that he was
looking forward to meeting his musical mates. He also asked me to visit him soon which I
would have loved to do! I say that because some people asked me whether I think that he
wanted to commit suicide. I'm 100% sure, no!

35

5. List of references

Berg, Chuck (1978). Woody Shaw: Trumpet In Bloom, Downbeat magazine.


Chadbourne, Eugene (1976). (who? me?) Woody Shaw, Coda magazine.
Chenard, Marc (1986). Shawnuff Did Shawnuff Said, Coda magazine.
Cook, Richard and Morton, Brian (2008). The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (9th ed.),
Penguin, p. 1534.
Gilbert, Lois (1980). Woody Shaw, Musician magazine.
Hentoff, Nat (1971). Blackstone Legacy, Columbia records.
Hentoff, Nat (1985). Double Take, Blue Note records.
Hentoff, Nat (1966). Unity, Blue Note records.
Lake, Steve (1976). Woody Shaw: The Intimidator, Melody Maker magazine.
Lynch, Brian. The Dozens: Brian Lynch Selects 12 Essential Woody Shaw Tracks, Jazz.com.
McNeil, John (1999). The Art Of Jazz Trumpet, Gerard & Sarzin Publishing Co.
Nastos, Michael G. Blackstone Legacy, Allmusic.com.
ODonnell, Eric (2009). An Analysis of the Major Aspects of Woody Shaws Improvisatory
Approach, Unpublished Master Thesis, William Paterson University.
Richardson, Edward Rex (2006). Structural Elegance and Harmonic Disparity in Selected
Solos by Jazz Trumpeters Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw, Unpublished Doctoral
Dissertation, Louisiana State University.
Shaw, Woody Louis Armstrong III (2012). Who is Woody Shaw?, International Trumpet
Guild.
Stewart, Zen (1980).Woody Shaw Arrives, Downbeat magazine.
Yanow, Scott. Double Take, Allmusic.com.
Yanow, Scott. Imagination, Allmusic.com.

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6. List of figures

1. There Will Never Be Another You, measures 33-34; Bimodality. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16


2. There Will Never Be Another You, measure 49; Bimodality. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
3. Sandu, measure 16; Bimodality. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
4. What Is This Thing Called Love, measure 23; Pentatonic scale over diatonic harmony. 17
5. What Is This Thing Called Love, measures 39 and 40; Pentatonic scale over diatonic
harmony and bitonality. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
6. What Is This Thing Called Love, measures 8 10; Pentatonic scale over diatonic
harmony and bitonality. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
7. What Is This Thing Called Love, measures 70 and 71; Pentatonic scale over diatonic
harmony and bimodality. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
8. You And The Night And The Music, measures 16 and 17; Intervallic approach. . . . . 20
9. You And The Night And The Music, measures 40 and 41; Intervallic approach. . . . . 20
10. Sandu, measures 35 37; Intervallic approach. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
11. Sandu, measures 31 34; Atypical rhythmic phrasing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
12. You And The Night And The Music, measures 32 36; Atypical rhythmic phrasing. 22

7. List of images

1. http://www.jazzwax.com/2013/07/woody-shaw-muse-box.html . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2. http://nickwalters.net/tag/lost-and-found/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
3. http://www.jazz24.org/2013/08/woody-shaw-the-last-great-trumpet-innovator/ . . . . . . . . 8
4. http://musicbloodline.info/artist/MN0000680003/spotify . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
5. http://www.jazzwax.com/2013/07/woody-shaw-muse-box.html . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
37

8. Statement

Hiermit erklre ich eidesstattlich, dass ich die vorliegende Arbeit selbststndig und ohne
fremde Hilfe verfasst habe. Alle Stellen oder Passagen der vorliegenden Arbeit, die anderen
Quellen im Wortlaut oder dem Sinn nach entnommen wurden, sind durch Angaben der
Herkunft kenntlich gemacht. Dies gilt auch fr die Reproduktion von Noten, grafische
Darstellungen und andere analoge oder digitale Materialien.
Ich rume der Anton Bruckner Privatuniversitt das Recht ein, ein von mir verfasstes Abstract
meiner Arbeit auf der Homepage der ABPU zur Einsichtnahme zur Verfgung zu stellen.

Linz, 15.06.2014

Unterschrift

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