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Album Review

Phil Woods has recorded frequently for Philology (named in his honor by its owner, Paolo Piangiarelli) during his many trips to Italy; this two-CD set documents a 1989 concert with the Catania City Brass Orkestra, a group of promising young Italian musicians. Woods carries the lion's share of the solos, and while the rhythm section is competent, the reeds and brass have problems consistently staying in tune on several of the songs. In addition to the expected Woods compositions ("Reet's Neet," "Goodbye Mr. Evans," and "How's Your Mama"), the program includes Neal Hefti's "Repetition," Woods' very familiar arrangement of "Willow Weep for Me" (which is built upon a vamp of Miles Davis' "All Blues"), and two features for singer Antonella Consolo, including "Lover Man" and "Lullaby of Birdland," both of which were arranged by pianist and bandleader Giuseppe Emmanuele, who also contributed two fine originals. While it is unfair to compare the Catania City Brass Orkestra to more established big bands, they make up in energy what they lack occasionally in polish. Fans of Phil Woods will want to pick up this release, in any case.

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 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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