Franco D'Andrea / Phil Woods

Balladeer Supreme, Vol. 1

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Phil Woods and Franco D'Andrea join forces once again for a duo date for Philology, one of seven incredible recording sessions in which Woods took part during five days in the spring of 2000. The CD is dedicated to the memory of Woods' daughter Aimee. The very first track, "Blues for Aimee," opens with Woods' unaccompanied alto sax almost seeming to utter her name in a plaintive outburst, then the pianist joins him for the remainder of this powerful, jointly credited piece, which was likely either improvised or fleshed out just prior to its recording. The remainder of the date features a mix of timeless standards as only musicians the caliber of Woods and D'Andrea can interpret them. "Almost Like Being in Love" has a jaunty confident air, while the extended explorations of "Autumn in New York" and "Prelude to a Kiss" are masterpieces. Woods switches to clarinet (which he never uses often enough on recordings!) for magical interpretations of "Sweet Lorraine" and "Someone to Watch Over Me." Like all sessions featuring Phil Woods on his namesake label, this CD is highly recommended.

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