Woody “Sonship” Theus, whose credits include work with McCoy Tyner, Charles Lloyd, John McLaughlin, Woody Shaw, Freddie Hubbard, Michal Urbaniak, and Pharoah Sanders, passed away this past March 18, at age fifty-eight. Among the pallbearers at his funeral were the world-renowned drummers Ndugu Chancler and James Gadson.
Apparently, like Ed Blackwell, he had long-term kidney problems. I think he was mainly known and beloved for his explosive performance on McCoy Tyner's 1978 album The Greeting:
More Son Ship after the break:
Here he is playing with Charles Lloyd, with Michel Petrucciani and Palle Danielsson:
Here's an incredible extended solo from a 1990 performance- embedding is disabled. I notice he's using a 22" Paiste Sound Creation Dark Ride. I don't know who the second drummer is.
And smoking it at age 16: