b. 14 June 1902, London, England, d. 23 May 1973, Chertsey, Surrey, England. Deeply involved in the music business from childhood, Phillips played clarinet in various bands, including one led by his brothers, and also worked in music publishing and for record companies. In the early 30s he was staff arranger for the popular band led by Bert Ambrose and later became a member of the band. He also began leading his own small group in the 30s, but it was the bands he led from 1949 onwards that built his reputation. Broadcasting regularly on the radio, Phillips also recorded, and his band became one of the best-known dixieland groups in the UK. Among the many fine musicians he employed at one time or another were George Shearing, Kenny Ball and Tommy Whittle. A gutsy, full-toned clarinettist, Phillips was also a skilful arranger and composed jazz-orientated dance tunes and several classical works. Changes in popular taste meant that from the 60s onwards his music was not in great demand, but he continued working until his death in 1973.
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