Woody Shaw, the jazz trumpeter and composer whose left arm was severed in a February subway accident, has died of pneumonia after a long illness, it was announced today. He was 44.
Shaw's eyesight had been declining for a decade, and he tumbled down a stairway Feb. 27 onto the tracks in a Brooklyn subway station where a train struck him, severing his arm.
As leader of the Woody Shaw Quintet, Shaw was rated the top jazz trumpet player of 1978 in the prestigious Downbeat Magazine poll, and his record, "Rosewood," was the No. 1 jazz album in the same poll.
Shaw played with most of the giants of modern jazz, including Eric Dolphy, McCoy Tyner, Horace Silver, Dexter Gordon, Archie Shepp, Lionel Hampton, Jackie McLean, Hank Mobley and Booker Ervin. The Shaw discography includes more than a dozen albums.