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Album Review

This is a bit of an unusual outing for Phil Woods, as Tommy Flanagan and Red Mitchell are his only musical partners for these 1981 sessions. The lack of drums enables the musicians to take a few extra liberties as they respond to one another. Woods is in top form, engaging his partners in a three-way conversation that seems effortless. His robust "Reet's Neet" benefits from Flanagan's fluid lines and Mitchell's potent bass, while Woods' touching ballad "Goodbye Mr. Evans," a tribute to the late pianist Bill Evans (who died a few months prior to these sessions), begins with a hauntingly beautiful piano solo, with Mitchell making a delayed entrance just prior to his solo and the composer waiting until just past the five-minute mark to add his emotional statement, which conveys his admiration for Evans' music. Flanagan's driving "Three for All" has a Latin undercurrent, with plenty of sparks flying among the players. Mitchell contributed three originals, including the loping ballad "It's Time to Emulate the Japanese," the lyrical "Talking," and the upbeat "You're Me," which features Woods on clarinet, though the CD credits fail to mention the instrument.

Biography

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 has had his own sound since the mid-'50s and stuck to his musical guns throughout a remarkably productive career. There has never been a doubt that he is one of the top alto saxophonists alive,...
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