Phil Woods Quintet

Full House

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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason

A September 1991 live set recorded with trombonist Hal Crook, pianist Jim McNeely, drummer Bill Goodwin, and bassist Steve Gilmore, Full House isn't quite a jam session, but more of an opportunity for these players and alto saxophonist/reedsman Phil Woods to stretch out and loosen up in a live set. Only one of the six tracks, the relatively concise and quite lovely clarinet ballad "Hindsight," runs under ten minutes, but there's very little fat here. Woods, McNeely, and Crook trade solos gracefully as Goodwin and Gilmore support the soloists unobtrusively. The tunes, mostly band originals, aren't much more than a chord progression to hang the solos on, although the one minor standard, a thoughtful and slow version of Al Cohn's sweet "Pensive," is richly melodic. Overall, it's a better-than-average bop band on a better-than-average night.

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