Swing Is the Thing!

Flip Phillips

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Swing Is the Thing! Review

by William Ruhlmann

Amazingly enough, this is 85-year-old Flip Phillips' first major-label recording as a leader, as well as one of the few albums he's ever released as a leader. You'd have to say that the old man still has plenty of wind in him, because this is a blowing session from start to finish, especially on tracks like "The Mark of Zorro" (versions of which open and close the album), "Where or When," and "Flip the Whip," when Phillips is joined by one or both of two fellow tenor men, James Carter and Joe Lovano. The rest of the time, he sticks with a rhythm section consisting of Howard Alden, Benny Green, Christian McBride, and Kenny Washington, though Duke Ellington's "In a Mellow Tune" is a duet with bassist McBride and "This Is All I Ask" pairs him with guitarist Alden. Alden especially also gets plenty of solo time in on what are really group performances. But that takes nothing away from the spry leader, who can roar on such numbers as the title tune and whisper with a husky tone on slow burners like "For All We Know." His playing is an inspiration.

blue highlight denotes track pick