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Astor & Elis

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Album Review

Phil Woods can usually be counted on to record consistently explosive bop-oriented sets with his regular quintet but Astor & Elis is quite different. The altoist dedicates the performance to the singer Elis Regina, the influential modern tango composer Astor Piazzolla and indirectly to Dizzy Gillespie. Joined by a sextet that includes the talented cellist Eric Friedlander, pianist Bill Charlap and Phil Markowitz on synthesizer, Woods alternates between playing alto on Brazilian-flavored material and utilizing his clarinet for Piazzolla's music. The emphasis is generally on lyrical and heartfelt ballad statements with occasional heated passages; Dizzy's "Con Alma" is the only jazz standard on the set. This attractive music favorably shows off Woods' versatility.

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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Astor & Elis, Phil Woods
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