JazzTimes - 1-2/00, p.118
"...Shaw's writing within his chosen limits is remarkably effective, the band swings, and that beautiful trumpet sound is a huge plus...One of the best Shaw reissues on 32 Jazz."
Personnel: Woody Shaw (trumpet); Frank Strozier (alto saxophone); Ronnie Mathews (piano); Stafford James (bass); Eddie Moore (drums).
Recorded at Blue Rock Studio, New York, New York on June 29, 1976. Includes liner notes by Robert Palmer.
Digitally remastered by Gene Paul (1999, DB Plus Digital Services).
The late Woody Shaw was one of the best jazz trumpet players from the late '60s to the early '80s. Perhaps he wasn't better known because he had one foot planted in the hard-bop tradition (he played with Art Blakey, Max Roach and Horace Silver) and one in the avant-garde (he also played with Eric Dolphy, Anthony Braxton and Andrew Hill). Shaw played in a bright, brash and melodic style, similar to Freddie Hubbard yet more adventurous.
LITTLE RED'S FANTASY is a gem of a session from 1976, reissued in 1999. It features Shaw in peak form, as well as two undeservedly lesser-known players: Eddie Moore (drums) and Frank Strozier (alto saxophone). Strozier's wailing, tart alto recalls Jackie McLean at his '60s peak; Moore is crisp, self-effacing and propulsive; and pianist Ronnie Mathews matches Shaw's sparkling, song-like lyricism. The tracks are on average eight minutes in length, enough time for each player to say what he wants. LITTLE RED'S FANTASY is a modern jazz classic, for Shaw fans and jazz newcomers alike.