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An innovative, aggressive drummer, Simon Phillips embarked on his musical career at an early age. He showed affinity for the drums quickly -- beginning with a toy kit at age four, moving on to a snare and cymbal set at six; by age 12, Phillips was performing and recording with his father's Dixieland jazz band. After his father's death, Phillips left the jazz band and began exploring other musical styles, including rock and musicals. A gig as a drummer for a production of Jesus Christ Superstar led to session work, drumming on the demos of various cast members. As his connections in the music scene grew, so did his session credits: From the '70s onward, Phillips performed with prominent rock and jazz artists like Jeff Beck, Pete Townshend, Gil Evans, Stanley Clark, Frank Zappa, and Peter Gabriel. By 1997, however, Phillips was ready to lead his own band. Joined by a cast of seasoned rock and jazz musicians including guitarists Ray Russell and Andy Timmons, saxophonist Wendell Brooks, bassist Anthony Jackson, and percussionist Peter Michael Escovedo, Phillips began touring as a bandleader. This lineup also recorded Phillips' 1997 album Another Lifetime. Three years later, Vantage Point was released. ~ Heather Phares