Gene QuillVer en iTunes
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In the 1950s, the alto sax didn't get much louder than Gene Quill, a hard-edged soloist who could rival Jackie McLean and frequent-partner Phil Woods when it came to intensity, enthusiasm, and hard bop aggression. Like Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt or Dexter Gordon and Wardell Gray on tenor, Woods and Quill (known as "Phil & Quill") often engaged in celebrated alto battles that exemplified musical sportsmanship at its finest. Because Quill was so tireless and energetic a player in the 1950s (when his battles with Woods were documented by Prestige and RCA), the altoist was a natural sideman for such high-volume jazzmen as Gene Krupa, Quincy Jones, and Buddy DeFranco. But Quill, who recorded for Roost and Dawn on his own dates, certainly had no problem playing melodically, and he was in very melodic settings when employed in Claude Thornhill's big band and Gerry Mulligan Concert Jazz Band from 1960-1962. Ironically, a man who, to many, epitomized hard bop became softer and more introspective in the '60s, sometimes bringing to mind the cool and lyrical alto playing of Lee Konitz and Art Pepper without sounding like he was consciously imitating either. Quill was in extremely poor health during the last years of his life, when he suffered brain damage and partial paralysis. Regrettably, most of Quill's work as a leader wasn't reissued on CD in the U.S. in the late '80s or early to mid-'90s.