Phil Woods

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Phil Woods
Phil Woods 1978.jpg
Woods in 1978
Background information
Birth namePhilip Wells Woods
Born(1931-11-02)November 2, 1931
Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.
DiedSeptember 29, 2015(2015-09-29) (aged 83)
East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s)Musician, composer
InstrumentsSaxophone, clarinet
Associated acts Buddy Rich, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Gene Krupa, Benny Goodman

Philip Wells Woods (November 2, 1931 – September 29, 2015) was an American jazz alto saxophonist, clarinetist, bandleader, and composer.

Contents

Biography

Woods was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He studied music with Lennie Tristano, who influenced him greatly, at the Manhattan School of Music and at the Juilliard School. His friend, Joe Lopes, coached him on clarinet as there was no saxophone major at Juilliard at the time. Although he did not copy Charlie "Bird" Parker, he was known as the New Bird, a nickname also given to other alto saxophone players such as Sonny Stitt and Cannonball Adderley.

In the 1950s, Woods began to lead his own bands. Quincy Jones invited him to accompany Dizzy Gillespie on a world tour sponsored by the U.S. State Department. A few years later he toured Europe with Jones, and in 1962 he toured Russia with Benny Goodman. [1]

After moving to France in 1968, Woods led the European Rhythm Machine, a group which tended toward avant-garde jazz. He returned to the United States in 1972 and, after an unsuccessful attempt to establish an electronic group, he formed a quintet which was still performing, with some changes of personnel, in 2004. As his theme, Woods used a piece titled "How's Your Mama?"

Woods earned the top alto sax player award almost 30 times in Downbeat magazine's annual readers' poll. His quintet was awarded the top small combo title several times. [1]

In 1979, Woods recorded the album More Live at Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin, Texas. Perhaps his best known recorded work as a sideman is a pop piece, his alto sax solo on Billy Joel's 1977 "Just the Way You Are". He also played the alto sax solo on Steely Dan's "Doctor Wu" from their 1975 album Katy Lied , as well as Paul Simon's "Have a Good Time" from the 1975 album Still Crazy After All These Years .

Woods in 1983 Phil Woods1983.jpg
Woods in 1983

Although Woods was primarily a saxophonist, he was also a clarinet player and solos can be found scattered through his recordings. One particular example is his clarinet solo on "Misirlou" on the album Into the Woods.

Woods, along with Rick Chamberlain and Ed Joubert, founded the organization Celebration of the Arts (COTA) in 1978 late one night in the bar at the Deer Head Inn in Delaware Water Gap. The organization would eventually become the Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts. Their initial goal was to help foster an appreciation of jazz and its relationship to other artistic disciplines. Each year, the organization hosts the Celebration of the Arts Festival in the town of Delaware Water Gap in September.

In 2005, Jazzed Media released the documentary Phil Woods: A Life in E Flat – Portrait of a Jazz Legend, directed by Rich Lerner and produced by Graham Carter. [2]

Woods was married to Chan Parker, the common-law wife of Charlie Parker, for seventeen years and was the stepfather to Chan's daughter, Kim. [1] On September 4, 2015, he performed a tribute to Charlie Parker with Strings at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild and announced at the end of the show that he would be retiring. He died of emphysema on September 29, 2015, at the age of 83. [3]

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Phil Woods among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire. [4]

Awards

Discography

Woods in Oslo, 2007 Phil woods oslo 2007 1.jpg
Woods in Oslo, 2007

As leader/co-leader

Compilation

As sideman

With Franco Ambrosetti

With Manny Albam

With Benny Bailey

With Louis Bellson and Gene Krupa

With Bob Brookmeyer

With Kenny Burrell

With Gary Burton

With Benny Carter

With Ron Carter

With the Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland Big Band

With Al Cohn

With Eddie Costa

With Lou Donaldson

With Bill Evans

With Gil Evans

With Art Farmer

With Dizzy Gillespie

With Stephane Grappelli

With Kenyon Hopkins

With Milt Jackson

With Billy Joel

With Quincy Jones

With Michel Legrand

With John Lewis

With Mundell Lowe

With Bryan Lynch

With Herbie Mann

With Gary McFarland

With Nellie McKay

With Carmen McRae

With the Modern Jazz Quartet

With Thelonious Monk

With Oliver Nelson

With Joe Newman

With Anita O'Day

With Pony Poindexter

With Jimmy Raney

With Jimmy Raney or Dick Hyman

With Lalo Schifrin

With Shirley Scott

With Sahib Shihab

With Jimmy Smith

With Chris Swansen

With Billy Taylor

With Clark Terry

With George Wallington

With Kai Winding

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 Charles J. Gans (September 30, 2015). "Legendary Jazz Saxophonist Phil Woods Dies; Featured on Billy Joel Hit". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on October 3, 2015.
  2. "Phil Woods - Bio | Capri Records Ltd". caprirecords.com. Retrieved 2015-12-11.
  3. Rick Nowlin (September 29, 2015). "Phil Woods, legendary alto saxophonist who gave one more great performance here in early September, dies at 83". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  4. Rosen, Jody (June 25, 2019). "Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire". The New York Times. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  5. 1 2 Phil Woods, Grammy at AllMusic

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References