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Jaleel Shaw | Optimism

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Jazz: Bebop Jazz: Hard Bop Moods: Featuring Saxophone
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by Jaleel Shaw

New CD of Modern Jazz from Alto saxophonist of the Roy Haynes Quartet and Mingus Big Band.
Genre: Jazz: Bebop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Flipside
7:59 $0.99
2. Almost
5:36 $0.99
3. In 3
8:02 $0.99
4. Optimism
10:51 $0.99
5. If I'm Lucky
4:41 $0.99
6. Flight
3:44 $0.99
7. Love For Sale
7:59 $0.99
8. Muna's Sleeping
7:32 $0.99
9. Muna's Dream
3:09 $0.99
10. The Struggle
12:03 $0.99
11. Optilude
2:17 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Jaleel Shaw - Optimism


Lage Lund: Guitar

Robert Glasper: Piano

Joe Martin: Bass

Johnathan Blake: Drums

Jeremy Pelt: Trumpet

Optimism (Changu Records CR001), Jaleel Shaw’s second CD as a
leader, the award-winning alto saxophonist and composer further solidifies his position as one of the most distinctive writer/arrangers and imposing instrumentalists on today’s international jazz scene.

Shaw’s nine originals and arrangements of two standards on Optimism, which he produced himself and is the first release on his new label Changu Records, continue to explore the ruggedly individualistic sonic landscapes the saxophonist first featured on his recording debut as a leader – 2005’s Perspective (FS New Talent 222) which was named one of that year’s top CDs by All About Jazz and Jazzwise. Writing in The New York Times, Nate Chinen praised that album as “...a showcase for Mr. Shaw's stout, self-assured alto saxophone playing and his smartly conceived original compositions.” Chinen added that Shaw’s ...”sound [is] brawny and full-bodied, but capable of quicksilver actions - and his improvisational method is surefooted and exploratory.” Shaw, then 27, won his first ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award for “Heavyweight Champion” on Perspective.

The words “young lion” and “talent deserving wider recognition” are frequently bandied about when talking about emerging artists, but they certainly apply to Shaw. In 2007 he received enough votes to appear for the first time on the top-10 list of alto saxophone “Rising Stars” in the DownBeat International Jazz Critics Poll. Shaw’s debut there is the result of a rising international profile and expanding solo career due to, among other creative associations, his having toured globally since 2005 as a member of Roy Haynes’ quartet (and appearing on the legendary drummer’s Grammy® nominated CD Whereas) and having been a member of the Mingus Big Band since 2000, appearing on their Grammy® nominated CDs “Tonight At Noon” and “I Am Three.” Performances in 2007 with vibraphonist Stefon Harris and pianist Jason Moran added to the forward and upward momentum Shaw is currently experiencing as a player among players.



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A great player and a great person who deserves all the praises in the world! This cd is KILLIN!!


I just wanted to say that I am enjoying this recording very much. Thank you for blessing everyone with your compositions and your band. I still remember my first jazz CD I listened to that you gave me back at C.A.P.A "Soothsayer". This is a must buy by all jazz lovers. SUPPORT INDEPENDENT MUSICIANS!!!

Farnell Newton

Julius Tolentino

Great writing, playing, and group sound. I'm one of Jaleel's biggest fans and this record is a great continuation from Perspective.

Fat Dogs Love Jazz

This is contemporary NYC jazz at its finest! Outstanding band with amazing pianist Robert Glaper and outstanding trumpet player Jeremy Pelt as part of the cast of young jazz all stars. However, this CD is all about Jaleel Shaw who is going to be a jazz superstar for years to come. This is a terrific CD best enjoyed with a nice glass of wine and the volume turned up.


Recently heard Jaleel for the first time on a local radio station...was immediately interested in purchasing the cd. Each time I listen to this album, I hear something new..especially with headphones. I am first struck by his absolutely beautiful tone and his tasteful use of his vibrato. I enjoy every tune and am quite impressed with his cohorts...they do a splendid job of improvising, listening to each other and handing off their solos in a smooth and flowing manner. The energy levels on this album range from quite high and driving to very mellow and dreamlike...and I was most pleased to find that there was none of the cacoponous squeeling and honking that some sax players tend to overindulge in(IMHO). The more one listens, the more one hears in this album...at times, punctuated, at one point I thought I was listening to Return to Forever.....Keep up the wonderful work...I am sure I will continue to get many hours of enjoyment listening to this gem.

derrick terrabell

Five Stars...Not Enuff
Taking the Jazz Idiom back to the heights it once enjoyed. Great for listening and learning.
Thank you Jaleel!

Dr. Doris Ross

As your former teacher at McCallSchool, I am very proud of you. I loved listening to the CD.
I played it for my high school students, who loved listening to the CD. One of my students is playing jazz, so I directed him to your web site. Continue to pursue your passion!
Dr. RossI

chris schneider

Optimum Progress
Jaleel, steps up and jumps onto a new level. I really dig "The Struggle" and sold "Love 4 Sale".
This cd really has a sound driven by all the players, as Jaleel invites all their worthy contributions. Excellent leadership and writting.

Dave Johnson

Great CD
Jazz can be a bit intimidating if you’re not really immersed in listening to it regularly. There’s almost none of it on mainstream radio, and if you aren’t used to it, it can seem confusing at first and really only for serious listeners. If that’s your attitude, you might want to try this CD by Jaleel Shaw. It’s a beautiful piece of work, and I think it actually works well if you’re not as used to jazz as you might like to be. In fact, if you’re really just starting to learn about jazz, I’d recommend starting with “Love For Sale,” listening to the CD from that point, and then going back and listening to it from the beginning. For those of you, however, who are more comfortable with this genre, there are rich rewards here indeed. Thank you, Mr. Shaw, for a lovely piece of music.

NY Times (Nate Chinen)

A Bright, Robust Energy
A bright, robust energy suffuses the playing of Jaleel Shaw, an alto saxophonist who works with the venerable drummer Roy Haynes. Mr. Shaw has a purposeful but uncomplicated relationship with the postbop tradition — he isn’t out to reinvent the wheel, just spin it as he pleases — and he keeps excellent company, leaning on a handful of like-minded peers. His second album, “Optimism,” just out on his own Changu label, is an especially effective showcase for the pianist Robert Glasper and the guitarist Lage Lund, who imbue several of its tracks with a warm, contemporary glow. (The blend of Fender Rhodes piano and electronically looped guitars has become a familiar sound in jazz, thanks to players like these.) With only two exceptions, all the compositions are Mr. Shaw’s, and they reflect his assertive but generous personality as a bandleader.
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