Phil Woods

Ornithology: Phil Salutes Bird

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There's little doubt that no alto saxophonist alive is more qualified to do a tribute to Charlie Parker than Phil Woods; he has mastered the bop repertoire of Bird in a career that is approaching the half-century mark, and he has developed a sound that is very distinctly his own and can be readily identified in seconds. Woods has made numerous recordings for this Italian label, which he jokingly referred to as his "retirement plan" during a 1990 interview, but this quartet date is among his best for Philology. With an Italian rhythm section led by the fine pianist Franco D'Andrea, Woods explores at length eight of Parker's favorites. An extended "How High the Moon," a rhapsodic "Lover Man," and the Latin flavored "Night and Day" are among the date's many highlights. Highly recommended!

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