Down Beat (p.94) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[W]hile the more revealing stuff comes with the ballads, the more fanciful fare ain't too shabby, either."
JazzTimes (p.65) - "'Hank Jones' honors the late, great pianist....Woods' melody and Mays' subtly intricate playing both pay fitting homage to Jones' unassuming brilliance."
Recording information: Maggie's Farm (09/07/2010).
Photographers: Judy Kirtley; David W. Coulter.
Long one of the dominate alto saxophonists in jazz, Phil Woods meets his regular pianist Bill Mays for this intimate duo session recorded in September 2010. Both musicians have a vast repertoire and a gift for inventive improvising. They explore several songs by top-notch songwriters, including a loping, lyrical treatment of Jimmy Van Heusen's "All This and Heaven Too," a breezy, playful setting of Irving Berlin's "The Thing for You Would Be Me," and an overlooked Richard Rodgers gem, "Do I Love You?," which was featured in a Cinderella television special in the late '50s, featuring a bubbly Woods solo that is well complemented by Mays' elegant piano. Woods unveils two new originals for musicians who had passed away prior to the record date: "Blues for Lopes," a spunky bop vehicle that honors Joe Lopes, an old friend and mentor, along with "Hank Jones," a gorgeous ballad that salutes the brilliant pianist whose career spanned seven decades. This enjoyable duo date adds another important chapter to the already vast discography of Phil Woods. ~ Ken Dryden
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