Woody Shaw is widely acknowleged as one of the finest trumpeters who ever lived. He had the misfortune of coming into prominence when the acoustic jazz he loved to play was falling out of favor with jazz fans and musicians alike. So for much of his career, he enjoyed little commercial success. He did sign with Columbia records in the 80’s and he made several very well recieved albums and he was nominated for two Grammys. But by that time he had developed a degenerative eye disease and he was rapidly going blind. In February of 1989 he was struck by a subway car which severed his right arm. While in the hospital he suffered complications and he died of kidney failure.
I turned on Woody Shaw tonight for dinner music. We’re generally not organized enough to have dinner music but tonight Woody was a nice backdrop for our discussion about zoo animals, Barbies, and who squirted milk through her nose at lunch today. Ain’t my life glamorous? This video is only a clip of the song “Stepping Stone.” I picked it because it’s a great live performance.
Man, it seems like you can’t swing a cat without hitting a jazz genius who died young! I think you should know that after I typed that first sentence, I actually stopped and spent several minutes thinking up ways to humanely swing a cat. Yes, I also thought about how callous it was to talk about whacking someone’s mortal remains with a house pet and yet I left these comments on the post. Perhaps I should have taken my screen name from the movie “Crazy/Beautiful?”