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A Life In E Flat: Portrait of a Jazz Legend by Phil Woods

Although I am reviewing this title under the CD category, it is actually a DVD in the documentary format. Please note that there is a companion CD entitled; Phil Woods, "How I Feel About Quincy" Jazzed Media JM1004.

This DVD is essentially the Phil Woods quintet in a recording session. But imagine if you could take Phil aside and ask him about his life in music?

It's all here, the early years in Birdland where he shared the stage with Charlie Parker while trying to figure out why his sax just wasn't sounding right, and some interesting experiences with Dizzy Gillespie on a State Department tour through the middle east.

Phil talks about how he got started in a music career that has spanned six decades. He speaks reverently about his childhood teacher and how he happened to choose the saxophone. He includes stories about working with Quincy Jones and Thelonious Monk, and also his studio work on Billy Joel's "Just The Way You Are" . Steely Dan fans will recognize his excellent tone on the "Dr. Wu" cut from the 1970s as well. Many jazz musicians look to Phil as an influence. Certainly Richie Coles' style comes to mind. The individual musicians in the quintet give fitting tributes as well, coming out of a thirty year relationship.

This DVD is an instructive part of jazz history. For the devoted Phil Woods fan, or for any student of jazz who is interested in the roots of bebop it offers a rich legacy by one of the greats.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Phil Woods
  • CD Title: A Life In E Flat: Portrait of a Jazz Legend
  • Genre: BeBop / Hard Bop
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Jazzed Media
  • Rating: Five Stars
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