Woody Shaw
Kozmigroov Albums
Blackstone Legacy [Contemporary, 1971]
Song of Songs [Contemporary, 1972]
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I'd previously heard the title cut [from Song of Songs on Bobby Hutcherson's excellent Live at Montreaux set-- built on a pentatonic Indonesian scale (in sympathy to the people of VietNam, according to the notes), the song is a brilliant, eastern-tinged hard-bop cum kozmigroov firestorm.  The version on Shaw's album is a little more sedate and menacing, but even more powerful, w/ fabulous bass by Henry Franklin & a stonking lineup all-around (Emanuel Boyd, fl / ts; Ramon Morris & Bennie Maupin, ts {just a coupla tracks}; George Cables, p / el p; & Woodrow Theus II, *smoking* on traps & perc).  The other cuts are great too-- "The Goat & the Archer" sounds kinda like Lee Morgan's work in his last few years-- very firmly-anchored hardbop nonetheless pushing the modal & freakout envelopes.  Bennie Maupin's presence reinforces the Morgan resonance here.  "Love: For the One You Can't Have" is an almost-Pharoahesque ballad.  Cables' pulsing electric piano & Boyd's aetherial flute setting a lush & exotic bed for Shaw's acerbic statements.  The last cut, "The Awakening", is more-or-less completely in the "free" idiom, & despite not having much of a groove, is of great interest for the analog-freakery Cables manages to extract from his electric piano (I assume it's Cables-- sounds like he's attached a ring modulator to it). [JW]