Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

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SHEW, Bobby

(b 4 March '41, Albuquerque NM) Trumpet. Began at 13 with a few lessons, but largely self- taught; turned pro after playing in NORAD band at Colorado Springs; played in Tommy Dorsey ghost band '64, then Woody Herman, Benny Goodman, Buddy Rich, settled in Las Vegas as long as he could stand it, moved to West Coast and divided his time for seven years between Toshiko Akiyoshi and Louie Bellson bands. A teacher and clinician, with all the studio work he wants, he also plays flugelhorn and Shewhorn, a trumpet with two bells, one open and one muted, with a fourth valve to control air flow; plays call-and-response and 'trades fours' with himself, but is careful not to use it so much that it becomes a gimmick. 'Someday, somebody is going to lock themselves into a room for a while and do some real stylistic innovations on it' (quoted by UPI's Ken Franckling). The Shewhorn was designed and built by Chicago's David Monette, who handmakes and tunes horns for Art Farmer, Wynton Marsalis, concert artist Maurice André, etc. Shew albums: Round Midnight on MoPro, Shewhorn '82--3 and Breakfast Wine '85 on Pausa, Trumpets No End '83 on Delos with Chuck Findley, quintet Playing With Fire '86 on Mama with Tom Harrell, Metropole Orchestra '86--8 on Mons has arr. by pianist Lex Jasper; Heavyweights '95 on Mama has Shew and trombonist Carl Fontana (big men, hence the pun) with rhythm section incl. George Cables.