"Phil Woods with Strings?" you may ask with a bit of apprehension. An album with strings, which is inevitably heavily arranged, is always a risky proposition for a jazz musician whose art depends above all on spontaneous improvisation. But Phil Woods, arguably the best alto sax player alive today, has done it many times in his 55-year career.
What distinguishes this album is the core group: Wood's regular quartet featuring the young and brilliant pianist Bill Charlap. Also, they decided to go with a string quintet (two violins, two violas and one cello) instead of a larger string section. This probably worked to make the ensemble agile and more spontaneous. The first violinist even takes a few solos!
All in all, this is a charming album filled with many tender moments and nice sound. Woods' playing is inspired and varied arrangements keep the program interesting. Bill Charlap helps his boss with a few beautiful solos as well.
Unlike many jazz recordings with strings, they complement rather than overwhelm the musicians. But it is almost impossible for a Phil Woods-led date to turn out less than excellent.
- 180g Vinyl
- Mixed and Mastered by Tetsuo Hara
- Venus Hyper Magnum Sound Direct Mix Stereo
- Obi strip
- Made in Japan
|Phil Woods||alto sax|
- The Thrill Is Gone
- You Go To My Head
- Easy To Love
- If I Should Lose You
- It Never Entered My Mind
- I Get Along Without You Very Well
- The Nearness Of You
Recorded at The Red Rock Recording Studio in Pennsylvania on June 16 and 17, 2002.