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.

Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States. It originated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and developed from roots in blues and ragtime. Jazz is seen by many as "America's classical music". Since the 1920s Jazz Age, jazz has become recognized as a major form of musical expression. It then emerged in the form of independent traditional and popular musical styles, all linked by the common bonds of African-American and European-American musical parentage with a performance orientation. Jazz is characterized by swing and blue notes, call and response vocals, polyrhythms and improvisation. Jazz has roots in West African cultural and musical expression, and in African-American music traditions including blues and ragtime, as well as European military band music. Intellectuals around the world have hailed jazz as "one of America's original art forms".

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.

Springfield, Massachusetts City in Massachusetts

Springfield is a city in the state of Massachusetts, United States, and the seat of Hampden County. Springfield sits on the eastern bank of the Connecticut River near its confluence with three rivers: the western Westfield River, the eastern Chicopee River, and the eastern Mill River. As of the 2010 Census, the city's population was 153,060. As of 2018, the estimated population was 155,032, making it the third-largest city in Massachusetts, the fourth-most populous city in New England after Boston, Worcester, and Providence, and the 12th-most populous in the Northeastern United States. Metropolitan Springfield, as one of two metropolitan areas in Massachusetts, had a population of 692,942 as of 2010.

Lennie Tristano American jazz pianist and composer

Leonard Joseph Tristano was an American jazz pianist, composer, arranger, and teacher of jazz improvisation.

Manhattan School of Music music school in New York City

Manhattan School of Music (MSM) is a private music conservatory in New York City. The school offers bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees in the areas of classical and jazz performance and composition, as well as a bachelors in musical theatre.

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]

Quincy Jones American record producer, conductor, arranger, composer, television producer, and trumpeter

Quincy Delight Jones Jr. is an American record producer, multi-instrumentalist, singer, and film producer. His career spans six decades in the entertainment industry with a record 80 Grammy Award nominations, 28 Grammys, and a Grammy Legend Award in 1992.

Dizzy Gillespie American jazz trumpeter

John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer, and singer.

Benny Goodman American jazz musician

Benjamin David Goodman was an American jazz clarinetist and bandleader known as the "King of Swing".

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?"

Avant-garde jazz is a style of music and improvisation that combines avant-garde art music and composition with jazz. It originated in the 1950s and developed through the 1960s. Originally synonymous with free jazz, much avant-garde jazz was distinct from that style.

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 made the recording More Live at the 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 .

Armadillo World Headquarters music venue and nightclub located in Austin, Texas

Armadillo World Headquarters was a music venue and nightclub located in Austin, Texas from 1970 to 1980. It was located at 505 Barton Springs Road in Austin. After its demolition, it was replaced by a 13-story office building.

Pop music is a genre of popular music that originated in its modern form in the United States and United Kingdom during the mid-1950s. The terms "popular music" and "pop music" are often used interchangeably, although the former describes all music that is popular and includes many diverse styles. "Pop" and "rock" were roughly synonymous terms until the late 1960s, when they became increasingly differentiated from each other.

Just the Way You Are (Billy Joel song) 1977 single by Billy Joel

"Just the Way You Are" is a song by Billy Joel from his fifth studio album The Stranger (1977). It was released in September 1977 as the album's lead single. It became both Joel's first US Top 10 and UK Top 20 single, as well as Joel's first gold single in the US. The song also topped the Billboard Easy Listening Chart for the entire month of January 1978.

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 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

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