The Woody Shaw Quintet perform on July 24 1979 with Woody Shaw (tp), Carter Jefferson (ss), Onaje Allan Gumbs (p), Stafford James (b) and Victor Lewis (dr).
Woody Shaw was born on December 24, 1944 in Laurinburg, North Carolina. He was brought to Newark, New Jersey by his parents when he a year old. Shaw's father, Woody Shaw, Sr. was a member of the African American gospel group known as the Diamond Jubilee Singers and both his parents attended the same secondary private school as Dizzy Gillespie, The Laurinburg Institute. Shaw's mother was from the same town as Gillespie, Cheraw, South Carolina.
He began playing bugle at age 9 and performed in the Junior Elks, Junior Mason, and Washington Carver Drum and Bugle Corps in Newark, New Jersey. Though not his first choice of instrument, he began studying classical trumpet with Jerome Ziering at Cleveland Junior High School at the age of 11.
Often referred to as the "last innovator" in the jazz trumpet lineage, Shaw is credited with revolutionizing the technical and harmonic vocabulary of the instrument and is considered one of the great jazz composers and band leaders of the twentieth century. Born with a photographic memory and perfect pitch, Woody Shaw is looked upon as one of the major conceptualists and important musical geniuses in the history of jazz, thought to have been generations ahead of his time.
Shaw died of kidney failure on May 10, 1989, He was only 44 years old.