I have been listening to Woody Shaw a lot recently and I have picked out the following stylistic features of his playing:
- Variation of articulation. Woody uses a wide range of articulation to punctuate phrases and create interest, ranging from flowing legatos to spiky staccatos.
- Inflexions. Smears and falls are used to obscure the beginnings and ends of notes. He also uses vibrato regularly when landing on important notes of phrases.
- Use of the tritone pentatonic scales over dominant chords, and the II pentatonic scale over I chords to create a lydian effect.
- “Side slipping”. The art of slipping from one scale or key centre to another a semitone away, and then back again (often this is achieved using pentatonic scales).