THE TRUMPET TRADITION….Woody Shaw & Louis Hayes: The Tour Volume Two, Tom Harrell: Moving Pictures

The passing of the trumpet baton can be linearly traced,  from Louis Armstrong to Roy Eldridge and Dizzy Gillespie all the way up to today. High Note records has released a historic album from one of the carriers, and a most recent album by the current man with the torch
Woody Hayes is featured a second time from a collection of 70s gig in Europe. This time he’ in a handful of German and Belgium clubs, spanning from March 1976 to April 1977. Shaw’s core team with Louis Hayes/dr, Ronnie Mathews/p and Stafford James/b has either Junior Cook or Rene’ McLean at the tenor sax chair. Regardless, the music is exciting and emotional post bop/modal, with Shaw mixing the tradition with left leanings as he sears through a brilliant “All the Things You Are” and agonizes on “’Round Midnight.” Mathews supplies lovely ectomorphic support, and delivers a rich solo on “What’s New” as  Cook digs dep on”Night in Tunisia” and “ Invitation” and McLean simmers with a percolating groove on “Some Other Blues.” Shaw gave it all he had, and it is palpable on this wonderful release.
Tom Harrell never seems to sit still. He has created a wide palate of sounds and moods in his catalogue. This time around, with his team of Danny Grissett/p-key, Ugonna Okegwo/b and Adam Cruz/dr, he keeps the flame embers burning gently, with a lovely pastoral session.
A couple of the  pieces, “Apple House” and “Different Clouds” have Harrell double tracking his horn for extra texture, adding a layer of velvet on these lithe tunes. Grissett switches to keyboards for some seductive soul jazz moods on the graceful “Montego Bay,” cheerful “Time Passage” and groovy “Different Clouds.” Even more appealing is the sonata between Grissett and Harrell on the intimate and cozy “Vibrer” which as Grisset’s long fingers feed rhythms and melodies for Harrell, whereas Okegwo’s bass makes it a threesome for the pastoral “Sea.” This album wins you over with its rich pastels.
High Note Records

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