A natural successor to the throne following the innovations of Freddie Hubbard and Booker Little, Woody Shaw had the misfortune of entering the jazz domain a few years before the '70s hit and the bottom fell out of mainstream jazz. As a result, so much of the man's great work was essentially neglected by all but the most discerning jazz followers. Aside from Shaw's appearances as a sideman, some of his most superlative recorded work was to be found on the many albums he cut for the Muse label during the '70s and '80s. One of the finest of those, 1986's SOLID, also happens to be the last of his studio recordings to be completed prior to his untimely death.
An aptly-named affair, Shaw and then new star Kenny Garrett work out over five standards and one example of a silk purse fashioned from a sow's ear, "The Woody Woodpecker Song." And if you're going to cut this type of an album then this is the way to go, Shaw's burnished tones and Kenny Barron's exquisite comping a match made in heaven. All that now remains is for 32 Jazz to put out SETTING STANDARDS (which they promise is forthcoming) and Shaw's entire Muse catalog will be available for future generations to enjoy. A more befitting testimony no one could ask for!