Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
Trumpeter Woody Shaw has for some years been in the stylistic shadow of jazz luminary Freddie Hubbard. Recently though, Shaw, a former sideman of Horace Silver and Eric Dolthy, has come into his own to the point where he actually is a more consistent player than Hubbard.
Shaw, who Thursday evening began a four-day stint at the Showboat Lounge, also has upgraded his choice of associates. Man for man, his new quintet (with Carter Jefferson, tenor and soprano saxes; Onaje Allen Gumbs, piano; Clint Houston, bass; and Victor Lewis, drums) is much stronger than the group he formerly co-led with drummer Louis Hayes.
That Shaw's music is the essence of the muscular hard-bop tradition was evident from the group's opening workout on "Green Dolphin Street." Heard at length were the leader's biting, brassy lines, Jefferson's pleasing mixture of John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter, Gumbs' aggressive but lyrical pianistics, Houston's fluent, hard-edged bass, and Lewis' impressively varied drumming.
The opener set the pattern for the quintet's other pieces, a Latin-tinged original by Houston and a romantic Gumbs offering, "Are They Only Dreams." With music of such strength and a new Columbia recording contract under his belt, Shaw seems to be well on his way to new prominence.