There’s a rare chance to hear the late, great Edinburgh pianist Alex Shaw on Radio Three’s Jazz Record Requests tonight.
For those of you too young to have heard him live, Shaw, who died in 2000, was widely regarded as one of the greatest jazz musicians ever to come from Scotland. However, because he remained based in Edinburgh rather than moving to London or New York and most of his career came before digital technology made recording cheaper and easier, he never really achieved the recognition furth of Scotland that compatriots like Jimmy Deuchar, Bobby Wellins or Joe Temperley did. (Although many of the international musicians he worked with acknowledged his talent: Bobby Watson was apparently a great fan).
Late in his career he recorded a couple of dates as sideman for Hep records, one with Buddy de Franco and Martin Taylor, the other with veteran American saxophonist Benny Waters. It’s a track from that latter album (which also includes Joe Temperley) which is being played this evening.
Jazz Record Requests starts at 5pm, and the Benny Waters / Alex Shaw piece is fourth in the running order. If you can’t listen at the time, it’s available online for a week afterwards.