2015 Japanese CD reissue.
Stepping Stones is one of the greatest albums ever made at the Village Vanguard-a large but justified claim. Shaw’s classic quintet (Carter Jefferson, Onaje Allan Gumbs, Clint Houston, Victor Lewis) absolutely smokes the challenging material, and the energy is all but overwhelming. The leader is beside himself, slashing and cracking and soaring. Yet Shaw is also capable, as on “In a Capricornian Way,” of a flickeringly ornate cornet solo. On “Escape Velocity,” he follows the clarion shrieks of Jefferson’s crisis with a more elegant catharsis of his own.
Thomas Conrad ~ JazzTimes
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