Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tim Price Bloggin' For Rico- Phil Woods Live In NYC at Birdland ( My Man Phil )

~Friday night October 21 was time to catch my man Phil Woods in New York City at Birdland. He was making his New York gig with his world class famous quintet.This band is just the best in the business today, Brian Lynch- trumpet, Bill Goodwin- Drums, Bill Mays-piano- Steve Gilmore-bass. What a beautiful friendship this unit has become too, you can hear the empathy and commitment they play with from note one, on the bandstand.

From the first tune of the first set to the last tune of the second set, I had the overwhelming impression of a lasting rare beauty they made on me. That beauty has not diminished with time either! I've been a fan of this band from day one, with Phil's sidemen like Mike Melillo and Harry Leahey back in the day, and every one of Phil's bands has the Woods thumbprint. The music is bright, fresh, melodic, soul cleansing, soothing, brialliant, beautiful and swinging hard.The jazz I heard Friday in New York City is some of the best jazz of all time. To me, Phil Wood's has it all. The sound, and the technique, true jazz roots, and style behind it, never falters. That style is what it's all about. he's got the moan in the tone, beauty and grace, but it's the style that sais Phil Woods. That's a lesson there, dear Rico Blog readers! His tone is huge and his melodic phrasing is an inspiration but also he can take you to the moon to once you get inside his solos, this guy travels the outer limits. There's times Friday where I just shook my head, because he knows how to start a phrase so damn well, and if you listen to his story well, and take the trip with him, you'll find out what I mean. Phil is one bad hombre', and modern cat, but he always was! Why would he ever change! I love hearing him play the Benny Carter tune, "Souvenir"...Every time he plays it, I hear something new. That's a tune, every serious jazz saxophonist should be playing as well.

Phil's band , always intelligent and inventive, driven by plenty of emotion and sensitivity. They are the greatest instrumentalists, on the scene today.The coherence achieved was extraordinary - never surpassed, and rarely if ever equalled. Brian Lynch knocks me out! Without a doubt, he is one of the greatest trumpet players ever. Bill Goodwin, was born to play the drums. I always find Bill inventive and intense as well as wonderfully melodious and profound. Bill Mays is one of the most most fulfilling pianists in jazz. His comping fuels the band, I loved his voicings and the way he comped! Amazing! I'll be blunt- this is one of the greatest pianists playing today.Unhesitatingly recommended - only great respect and gratitude to Bill Mays. Steve Gilmore is a rock solid player I always enjoyed, his sound is right there decade after decade.Warm, vital and inspiring, uplifting contributions.

Everything this band has recorded I recommend, not just one CD. But everything. Why? Because it's totally distinctive: there is no replacement, and you will not regret owning and playing them frequently. It's history and a saxophone lesson as well, and for those of you, a jazz history lesson is you step far enough in.

SPECIAL NOTE; Frank Wess was in the house digging Phil Woods too! Phil announced his great respects to Frank and noted that when he grows up he wants to be just like Frank Wess. Don't we all Phil, don't we all ! Support from within' the ranks is inspiring, and what it's about. Take note!

What a great night Friday was, and a fantastic inspiration. A great joy to hear Phil, see some friends and get inspired.Mission accomplished.

This is, I feel confident, the kind of music people will still enjoy centuries hence among the best music of the twentieth century.Thank you Phil Woods!

Till next week, Keep listening, keep practicing, support live music always- Tim Price

Pictured below- Is Drummer Bill Goodwin; One of the greatest drummers in jazz and original member of Phil Woods quintet, and a beautiful human being to boot!

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