Personnel: Woody Shaw, trumpet; Junior Cook, tenor sax; Ronnie Matthews, piano; Stafford James, bass; Louis Hayes, drums.
Recorded Live in Europe. 1976.
Produced by Woody Shaw III
“By no means is jazz dead—that’s essentially why Louis Hayes and I formed this band. We really enjoy playing.” So wrote Woody Shaw, presumably around the time of this historic concert from their 1976 European tour, in response to the then much-heralded death of jazz. It was people like Shaw, Hayes and others who proved that it was only our out-dated preconceptions of what jazz was which were dead and that jazz itself was alive and well. Here we have a real gem from Woody Shaw's greatest period – a very hip quintet session, recorded with drummer Louis Hayes, tenor man Junior Cook, Ronnie Matthews on piano and Stafford James on bass. Cook's Trane-tinged flurries, Shaw's boprish bursts, Mathews’ ever-intensifying solos and Hayes’ thunder-and-lightning drumming create an energy and esprit very much in the Blakey tradition but without ever losing track of the identity or sight of their collective goal. This Woody Shaw-Louis Hayes-Junior Cook quintet is now a part of history. The concentric circles they set in motion, emanating from the center of their work so long ago continue to expand and make their influence felt right up to the present day.