This late 1977 session is notable for being one of the relatively few records documenting guitarist Harry Leahey's presence in the Phil Woods Quintet. Woods' always distinctive alto sax is the major voice on the CD (a retitled but otherwise identical reissue of the Gryphon LP Song for Sisyphus), though both Leahey and pianist Mike Melillo also contributed strong arrangements for the date. Bassist Steve Gilmore and drummer Bill Goodwin, who have continued to provide Woods with a potent rhythm section for decades after this recording was made, round out the quintet. Highlights of the session include Woods' powerful ballad "Song for Sisyphus," Leahey's sensitive scoring of Django Reinhardt's "Nuages," and Melillo's angular tribute to Thelonious Monk, appropriately titled "Monking Business." For pure fun, it's hard to beat the quintet's explosive romp through "Shaw Nuff." Leahey departed Woods' quintet not long after this session, wanting to get off the road. Highly recommended.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden
feat: Phil Woods