Woody Shaw: Theme for Maxine


Theme for Maxine


Woody Shaw (trumpet)


Rosewood (Sony)

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Woody Shaw (trumpet), Carter Jefferson (tenor sax), Onaje Allan Gumbs (piano), Clint Houston (bass), Victor Lewis (drums).

Composed by Woody Shaw


Recorded: New York, December 19, 1977


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

"Woody Shaw was the next major stylist on his instrument," Michael Cuscuna writes, "after Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard and the forgotten Booker Little." From 1977 through 1981, the CBS label agreed with this assessment, and recorded Shaw in a series of varied and smartly conceived dates. But in 1982, CBS latched onto Wynton Marsalis as the cornerstone of its jazz line, and Shaw never recorded another leader date for the label. At the time of this stellar session, Shaw was still the young lion and his reputation on the rise. "Theme for Maxine" was one of several standout tracks from the Rosewood LP which was nominated for two Grammies and selected as record of the year in the Down Beat readers' poll. Everything clicks here: the stellar rhythm section, the shimmering Shaw composition (a medium groove waltz) and the soloists who bob and weave over the changes. Shaw starts his solo in a gentle mood, moves into a more aggressive stance, before concluding with three well-aimed interval leaps like an Olympic athlete completing a triple jump. A superb track by one of the finest combos of the decade.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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