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Phil Woods: New Phil Woods Album

Album Notes

Phil Woods desired to put together a large ensemble for this ambitious 1975 album, expanding his quartet (Mike Mellilo, Steve Gilmore, and Bill Goodwin) to a large orchestra with the addition of brass and strings. Although the results are somewhat uneven and occasionally dated, there's a lot of great music within this LP. Woods' medley of Billy Strayhorn's gorgeous ballad "Chelsea Bridge" and his own snappy tribute to the legendary star of Duke Ellington's orchestra, "Johnny Hodges," the latter featuring the leader on soprano sax, is easily the highlight of this release. Woods' alto sax solo on the timeless standard "Body and Soul" and the soprano sax feature of Rodgers & Hart's long-forgotten "Mimi" (from the film Love Me Tonight) also merit praise. Less memorable are Woods' extended "Sun Suite" and an interpretation of rocker Janis Ian's "At Seventeen." This LP is still fairly easy to find, although it has been out of print for decades, and it is worth picking up for serious fans of Phil Woods. ~ Ken Dryden


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