This septet led by the arresting trumpeter Woody Shaw (1944-1989), in his first recording as a leader, was comprised of the Young Lions of the early Seventies. Only bass giant Ron Carter, the group's elder statesman at 33, was over 30, but all the players were musically experienced beyond their years, and at the highest levels. Three of them (Carter, Bennie Maupin, and Lenny White) had worked with Miles Davis, and Gary Bartz joined the great trumpeter's band at about the time of these recordings. While Blackstone Legacy was clearly influenced by Davis's 1969 milestone of jazz-rock fusion, Bitches Brew--from its original 2-LP format, extended performances, sometimes Afrocentric compositions, and use of vamps and electric piano, to funk-rock rhythms and free jazz passages--the Shaw ensemble, bursting with energy and talent coming to the fore, maintains an overall jazzier feel. Blackstone Legacy portended important things from a major soloist whose life was cut short.
with Gary Bartz, Bennie Maupin, George Cables, Ron Carter, Clint Houston, Lenny White