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Album Review

At one of the memorable West Coast jazz festivals organized by Ken Poston, altoist Phil Woods was teamed with a specially assembled big band to perform the "Unheard Herd," selections played but not recorded by Woody Herman's Second Herd. Actually though, of the eight numbers that were performed, only three fit into that category, since four of the songs were recorded by Herman and "My Old Flame" is a feature for Woods with the rhythm section. No matter, for Woods plays brilliantly throughout, the band put together by trumpeter Ron Stout is excellent, and the many soloists, which include trumpeter Carl Saunders, Stout, the full sax section, trombonists Scott Whitfield and Andy Martin, and pianist Ross Tompkins, add a great deal to the music. There is plenty of good spirit both in the playing and the storytelling by Stout and Woods. Phil Woods' four-minute monologue is full of funny stories, including some involving Al Cohn and Gene Quill. Highly recommended.


Born: 02 November 1931 in Springfield, MA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the true masters of the bop vocabulary, Phil Woods had his own sound beginning in the mid-'50s and stuck to his musical guns throughout a remarkably productive career. There was never a doubt that he was one of the top alto saxophonists in jazz, and he lost neither his enthusiasm nor his creativity through the years. Woods' first alto was left to him by an uncle, and he started playing seriously when he was 12. He gigged and studied locally until 1948, when he moved to New York. Woods studied...
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Unheard Herd, Phil Woods
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