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Flip Wails: The Best of the Verve Years

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Album Review

Although Flip Phillips was a mainstay of Norman Granz' Jazz At The Philharmonic tours and recordings, Granz seldom put sessions around him, preferring to use him as a core group mainstay. This single-disc collection puts together a variety of performances beginning with a Howard McGhee session from 1947, and traveling throughout the 1950s showing Phillips at his romping best. Highlights include "Three Little Words," "Singing the Blues," a be-bopping "Znarg's Blues" and a stately "If I Had You." Great playing from everyone aboard but Phillips sounds best in the company of Bill Harris on several tracks, and on a Buddy Rich Quartet session that closes out the disc.


Born: February 26, 1915 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Jazz

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

Flip Phillips, who angered some critics early on because he gained riotous applause for his exciting solos during Jazz at the Philharmonic concerts, for over 50 years was an excellent tenor saxophonist equally gifted on stomps, ballads, and standards. He played clarinet regularly in a Brooklyn restaurant during 1934-1939, was in Frankie Newton's group (1940-1941), and spent time in the bands of Benny Goodman, Wingy Manone, and Red Norvo. However, it was in 1944 that he had his breakthrough. As a...
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Flip Wails: The Best of the Verve Years, Flip Phillips
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