I'll bet if I was present in the audience at the Jazz Forum when this disc was recorded I would have gone away thinking I'd gotten more than my money's worth. Unfortunately, live music and live recordings conjure up very different reactions for me most of the time. Such is the case here.
If anyone is in doubt as to the supreme virtuoso horn credentials of Woody Shaw, this recording will put them to rest. This guy was an absolute monster of technical playing, particularly at insane tempos. That's mostly my beef with this recording; three of the four selections are up-up-uptempo show-off pieces, not just for Woody, but also the other 'names' on board. As a direct audience member, you can get in the spirit of the moment; as a home listener, it mostly gets kind of wearing.
Only the medium tempo 'All The Things You Are', for me, is likely to bear repeated listening; even there, the occasionally somewhat raucous drumming of Tony Reedus distracts from the mood of the tune. I can't get beyond the overall feeling these guys were mostly concerned with demonstrating "Aren't we GOOD?", rather than serving the song.
The overall sound and mixing of the recording is spotty. It's almost the polar opposite of Woody's 'In My Own Sweet Way" (my favourite Woody recording) for live sound quality.
If you have (or need) a complete Woody Shaw library, this might be a justifiable purchase. If not, save your dough; it'll likely end up in the section of your recordings labeled, "For Infrequent Listening Only".