A very valuable trumpeter, Bobby Shew has the rare dual ability of being able to play lead in big bands and star as a soloist in combos. His style is out of the hard bop tradition. Shew, who became an important jazz educator, was ironically mostly self-taught.
Born in Albuquerque, NM, on March 4, 1941, he worked with Woody Herman (1965), Buddy Rich (1966-1967), and then for a long stretch in Las Vegas show bands. In 1972, Shew settled in Los Angeles and worked in the studios, but found time to play jazz, most notably with the Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin big band. Louis Bellson has used him on many occasions over the past several decades, and Shew was often in demand for big band work with Buddy Rich, Don Menza, and the Capp/Pierce Juggernaut.
Starting in the 1980s, he has appeared more often with smaller groups. Bobby Shew has recorded as a leader for Inner City, Sutra, Jazzhounds,...