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WOODS PHIL (USA)



Phil Woods was 12 years old when he called an instructor for his first saxophone lesson. "I said, 'Should I bring a saxophone?' Woods told the Pocono Record. "And he said, 'Young man, it would be a good idea to bring the saxophone to your first saxophone lesson." Five decades later, the young boy who asked whether he should bring a sax to his lesson was inducted into the American Jazz Hall of Fame.

Within a few months of his first lesson, Woods was hooked on the instrument, and at age 15, after hearing Duke Ellington's band with alto Saxophonist Johnny Hodges, he knew that jazz was his calling. Woods studied briefly at the Manhattan School of Music and later earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Juilliard School of Music. But he got some of his most valuable lessons outside of school, at the jazz clubs that made New York the place for a young jazz musician to be. At night, Woods would go listen to Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker; during the day, he'd study classical composers.

After school, Woods performed with several different bands. In 1956, he joined Dizzy Gillespie on a tour of the Middle East, and three years later Quincy Jones hired him for a tour through Europe with a musical. He returned home a year later and spent the next several years doing studio work, but, longing to play his own jazz, he moved his family to Paris in 1968. In a week, he had formed The European Rhythm Machine, and began recording and receiving invitations to music festivals around the world. "Europe gave me a whole new start," Woods said. "Within six months, I was invited to play the Newport Jazz Festival. When I lived in New York City, I was never asked. So sometimes you have to go off the high board."

Five years later he returned home, and has become one of the world's most admired jazz saxophonists. He's used his talents with the likes of Gene Krupa, Thelonious Monk, Paul Simon (that's Woods' incredible solo at the end of Simon's "Have A Good Time"), Carly Simon, Steely Dan, Michael Legrand, Dizzy Gillespie, Billy Joel, and literally dozens of others. He has won four Grammy's, six DownBeat magazine Readers and Critics polls, and two National Association of Jazz Educators polls. In 1994 he was inducted into the American Jazz Hall of Fame.

Woods has also been featured on the soundtracks of The Hustler, Blow-Up, Twelve Angry Men, Boy In A Tree, and It's My Turn. In 1983, he formed The Phil Woods Quintet, which still performs and records, and he is a founder and current board member of the Delaware Water Gap Celebration Of The Arts. He has composed hundreds of songs.

"I was put here to be a jazz musician, a saxophone player," Woods says. "That was it."


Latest Release: Celebration (Concord)

Selected Previous Releases - As Featured Artist or With His Own Groups:

An Affair To Remember (Evidence)

Montreaux Jazz Festival (with The European Rhythm Machine)

Early Quintets (with The European Rhythm Machine)

Woodlore (with The European Rhythm Machine)

Warm Woods (with The European Rhythm Machine)

Images (with Michael Legrand)

The Phil Woods Six Live From The Showboat

More Live (with The Phil Woods Quartet)

At The Vanguard (with The Phil Woods Quintet)

Heaven (with The Phil Woods Quintet) [Evidence]

Bop Stew (with The Phil Woods Quintet)

Full House (with The Phil Woods Quintet) [Milestone]

Mile High Jazz (with The Phil Woods Quintet) [Concord]

Another Time, Another Place (with Benny Carter) [Evening Star]

Real Life (the Phil Woods Little Big Band) [Chesky]

Flowers For Hodges (with Jim McNeely) [Concord]

The Complete Concert (with Gordon Beck) [JMS]

Selected Previous Releases - With Others:

Stockholm Sweetenin' (with Quincy Jones)

Birth of a Band (with Quincy Jones)

World Statesman (with Dizzy Gillespie)

Dizzy in Greece (with Dizzy Gillespie)

Live from Birdland (with Dizzy Gillespie)

Torch (with Carly Simon)

Just The Way You Are (with Billy Joel)

Monk At Town Hall (with Thelonious Monk)

Legrand Jazz (with Michael Legrand)

A New Album (with Lena Horne)

Happy Horns (with Clark Terry)

Further Definitions (with Benny Carter)

American Jazz Philharmonic (with the American Jazz Philharmonic)
Reeds - Phil Woods uses:


Vandoren V16 #3 Alto Saxophone Reeds