Flip Phillips

A Sound Investment

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By sheer coincidence, this album was recorded a few months before and released just one month after the 1987 stock market crash; hence the upticking curve on the graph depicted on the jacket became a positive antidote of sorts to the financial screwups of the time. But without even seeing the jacket, one is always aware of the good vibes these tenor players generate in these small-combo contemporary swing sessions. Already in his 70s, Flip still plays with mature, husky soul, a slightly wailing upper register, and a feeling for space, while Hamilton's busier, directly booming tone becomes a neutral foil. Of the eight tunes, five of them are by Phillips, and the two rarely miss an opportunity to trade riffs good-naturedly in a friendly JATP manner. Good supporting cast, too, with guitarist Chris Flory making his mark as the ghost of Charlie Christian peers over the music stand.

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