Jazz trumpeter Woody Shaw died in 1989 at the age of 44 as a result of kidney failure. His final studio recording – “49th Parallel” was recorded in 1987 and has been out of print for over 25 years.
The album featured bassist Neil Swainson, Joe Henderson on tenor saxophone, and Woody Shaw. As part of an effort to preserve Jazz history, Cellar Music Group, Reel to Real, and la reserve records released the album which is now available on digital platforms for the first time.
The album was recorded in Toronto over a two day period. Bass player Neil Swainson said that it was an honour to see his album out and available to put into Jazz music fans.
At the time of the recording Shaw had just come form a stint in rehab for heroin addiction. He also had retinitis pigmentosa (tunnel vision) and was unable to read the music. He recorded the album form memory and played by ear.
During his career, Shaw also worked with the Horace Silver Quartet and Art Blakey.
feature photo credit: By Tom Marcello Webster, New York, USA – Woody Shaw – trumpet, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3856615