Phil Woods

Phil Woods

born on 2/11/1931 in Springfield, MA, United States

died on 29/9/2015 in Stroudsburg, PA, United States

Phil Woods

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Philip Wells Woods (November 2, 1931 – September 29, 2015) was an American jazz alto saxophonist, clarinetist, bandleader, and composer.


Woods was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He studied music with Lennie Tristano, who influenced him greatly, at the Manhattan School of Music and at the Juilliard School. His friend, Joe Lopes, coached him on clarinet as there was no saxophone major at Juilliard at the time. Although he did not copy Charlie "Bird" Parker, he was known as the New Bird, a nickname also given to other alto saxophone players such as Sonny Stitt and Cannonball Adderley.

In the 1950s, Woods began to lead his own bands. Quincy Jones invited him to accompany Dizzy Gillespie on a world tour sponsored by the U.S. State Department. A few years later he toured Europe with Jones, and in 1962 he toured Russia with Benny Goodman.[1]

After moving to France in 1968, Woods led the European Rhythm Machine, a group which tended toward avant-garde jazz. He returned to the United States in 1972 and, after an unsuccessful attempt to establish an electronic group, he formed a quintet which was still performing, with some changes of personnel, in 2004. As his theme, Woods used a piece titled "How's Your Mama?"

Woods earned the top alto sax player award almost 30 times in Downbeat magazine's annual readers' poll. His quintet was awarded the top small combo title several times.[1]

In 1979, Woods made the recording More Live at the Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin, Texas. Perhaps his best known recorded work as a sideman is a pop piece, his alto sax solo on Billy Joel's 1977 "Just the Way You Are". He also played the alto sax solo on Steely Dan's "Doctor Wu" from their 1975 album Katy Lied, as well as Paul Simon's "Have a Good Time" from the 1975 album Still Crazy After All These Years.

Although Woods was primarily a saxophonist, he was also a clarinet player and solos can be found scattered through his recordings. One particular example is his clarinet solo on "Misirlou" on the album Into the Woods.

Woods, along with Rick Chamberlain and Ed Joubert, founded the organization Celebration of the Arts (COTA) in 1978 late one night in the bar at the Deer Head Inn in Delaware Water Gap. The organization would eventually become the Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts. Their initial goal was to help foster an appreciation of jazz and its relationship to other artistic disciplines. Each year, the organization hosts the Celebration of the Arts Festival in the town of Delaware Water Gap in September.

In 2005, Jazzed Media released the documentary Phil Woods: A Life in E Flat – Portrait of a Jazz Legend, directed by Rich Lerner and produced by Graham Carter.[2]

Woods was married to Chan Parker, the common-law wife of Charlie Parker, for seventeen years and was the stepfather to Chan's daughter, Kim.[1] On September 4, 2015, he performed a tribute to Charlie Parker with Strings at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild and announced at the end of the show that he would be retiring. He died on September 29, 2015, at the age of 83.[3]


  • Grammy Award, Best Large Jazz Ensemble Performance: Images, 1975[4]
  • Grammy Award, Best Instrumental Jazz Performance, Individual or Group: Live from the Show Boat (1977), More Live (1982), At the Vanguard (1983)[4]
  • NEA Jazz Masters, 2007


As leader/co-leader

  • 1954: Pot Pie (Prestige)
  • 1955: Woodlore (Prestige)
  • 1955: Do it Yourself Jazz vol 2 with Hall Overton (Signal) (1959 Savoy)
  • 1956: Pairing Off (Prestige)
  • 1956: The Young Bloods (Prestige) – with Donald Byrd
  • 1957: Four Altos (Prestige) – with Gene Quill, Hal Stein, Sahib Shihab
  • 1957: Phil and Quill with Prestige – with Gene Quill
  • 1957: Sugan (Status)
  • 1957: Warm Woods (Epic)
  • 1961: Rights of Swing (Candid)
  • 1967: Greek Cooking (Impulse!)
  • 1968: Alto Summit (MPS) with Lee Konitz, Pony Poindexter and Leo Wright
  • 1969: Round Trip (Verve)
  • 1970: Phil Woods and his European Rhythm Machine at the Frankfurt Jazz Festival (Embryo)
  • 1970: Phil Woods and his European Rhythm Machine at the Montreux Jazz Festival (MGM)
  • 1974: New Music by the New Phil Woods Quartet (Testament)
  • 1974: Musique du Bois (Muse)
  • 1975: Floresta Canto (RCA) with Chris Gunning Orchestra
  • 1975: Images (RCA Victor) with Michel Legrand
  • 1976: The New Phil Woods Album
  • 1976: Altology (Prestige)
  • 1977: Live from the Show Boat
  • 1977: Summer Afternoon Jazz (Hindsight)
  • 1978: Song for Sisyphus (Gryphon)
  • 1979: Phil Woods Quartet Live (Clean Cuts)
  • 1979: Phil Woods – I Remember (Gryphon)
  • 1980: Phil Woods/Lew Tabackin (Omnisound) with Lew Tabackin
  • 1981: Three for All (Enja) with Tommy Flanagan and Red Mitchell
  • 1982: Live from New York (Palo Alto)
  • 1982: More Live
  • 1983: At the Vanguard
  • 1984: Integrity (Red)
  • 1984: Heaven (Evidence)
  • 1986: Dizzy Gillespie Meets Phil Woods Quintet (Timeless) with Dizzy Gillespie
  • 1987: Bop Stew; Bouquet (Concord)
  • 1988: Evolution; Here's to My Lady (Concord)
  • 1988: Embracable You (Philology)
  • 1989: Flash (Concord)
  • 1989: Here's to My Lady (Chesky)
  • 1990: All Bird Children; Real Life (Concord)
  • 1990: Phil's Mood (Philology)
  • 1990: My Man Benny, My Man Phil (MusicMasters)
  • 1991: Flowers for Hodges (Concord)
  • 1991: Full House (Milestone)
  • 1991: Real Life, The Little Big Band (Chesky)
  • 1994: Just Friends; Our Monk (Philology)
  • 1995: Plays the Music of Jim McNeely (TCB)
  • 1996: Mile High Jazz Live in Denver (Concord)
  • 1996: Astor and Elis (Chesky)
  • 1996: The Complete Concert (JMS) with Gordon Beck
  • 1996: Into the Woods (Concord)
  • 1997: Celebration! (Concord)
  • 1998: The Rev and I with Johnny Griffin (Blue Note)
  • 1999: Cool Woods (somethin' else)
  • 2006: Pass the Bebop (Cowbell) with Benjamin Koppel and Alex Riel Trio
  • 2006: Tel Aviv Jazz Festival (Philology) with Robert Anchipolovsky and Tony Pancella Trio
  • 2011: Man with the Hat (Pazz) with Grace Kelly
  • 2011: Phil & Bill with Bill Mays (Palmetto)

As sideman

With Franco Ambrosetti

  • Heartbop (Enja, 1981)

With Manny Albam

  • Jazz Goes to the Movies (Impulse!, 1962)
  • The Soul of the City (Solid State, 1966)

With Benny Bailey

  • Big Brass (Candid, 1960)

With Louis Bellson and Gene Krupa

  • The Mighty Two (Roulette, 1963)

With Bob Brookmeyer

  • Gloomy Sunday and Other Bright Moments (Verve, 1961)

With Kenny Burrell

  • A Generation Ago Today (Verve, 1967)

With Gary Burton

  • Who is Gary Burton? (RCA, 1962)
  • The Groovy Sound of Music (RCA, 1963)

With Benny Carter

  • Further Definitions (Impulse!, 1961)

With Ron Carter

  • Anything Goes (Kudu, 1975)

With the Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland Big Band

  • Latin Kaleidoscope (MPS, 1968)

With Al Cohn

  • Jazz Mission to Moscow (Colpix, 1962)

With Eddie Costa

  • Eddie Costa Quintet (Interlude, 1957)

With Lou Donaldson

  • Rough House Blues (1964)

With Bill Evans

  • Symbiosis (1974)

With Gil Evans

  • The Individualism of Gil Evans (1964)

With Art Farmer

  • Listen to Art Farmer and the Orchestra (Mercury, 1962)

With Dizzy Gillespie

  • World Statesman (Norgran, 1956)
  • Dizzy in Greece (Verve, 1957)
  • The New Continent (Limelight, 1962)
  • Rhythmstick (CTI, 1990)

With Stephane Grappelli

  • Classic Sessions: Stephane Grappelli (1987)

With Kenyon Hopkins

  • The Hustler (soundtrack) (Kapp, 1961)

With Milt Jackson

  • Ray Brown / Milt Jackson with Ray Brown (Verve, 1965)

With Billy Joel

  • Just The Way You Are on album The Stranger CBS, 1977)
  • New York State of Mind second studio version for compilation Greatest Hits (1985) and subsequent compilations and re-releases of album Turnstiles (replacing original saxophone by Richie Cannata)

With Quincy Jones

  • The Birth of a Band! (Mercury, 1959)
  • The Great Wide World of Quincy Jones (Mercury, 1959)
  • I Dig Dancers (Mercury, 1960)
  • The Quintessence (Impulse!, 1961)
  • Quincy Jones Explores the Music of Henry Mancini (Mercury, 1964)
  • Golden Boy (Mercury, 1964)
  • I/We Had a Ball (Limelight, 1965)
  • Quincy Plays for Pussycats (Mercury, 1959-65 [1965])

With Michel Legrand

  • Legrand Jazz (Philips, 1958)
  • After the Rain (Pablo, 1982)
  • Michel Legrand and Friends (RCA, 1975)

With John Lewis

  • Essence (Atlantic, 1962)

With Mundell Lowe

  • Satan in High Heels (soundtrack) (Charlie Parker, 1961)

With Bryan Lynch

  • Simpático (The Brian Lynch/Eddie Palmieri Project) (ArtistShare, 2006)
  • Bolero Nights for Billie Holiday (Venus, 2008)

With Herbie Mann

  • The Jazz We Heard Last Summer (Savoy, 1957)
  • Yardbird Suite (Savoy, 1957)

With Gary McFarland

  • The Jazz Version of "How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying" (Verve, 1962)

With Nellie McKay

  • Obligatory Villagers (2007)

With Carmen McRae

  • Something to Swing About (Kapp, 1959)

With the Modern Jazz Quartet

  • Jazz Dialogue (Atlantic, 1965)
  • MJQ & Friends: A 40th Anniversary Celebration (Atlantic, 1994)

With Thelonious Monk

  • The Thelonious Monk Orchestra at Town Hall (1959)
  • Big Band and Quartet in Concert (Columbia, 1963)

With Oliver Nelson

  • Impressions of Phaedra (United Artists, 1962)
  • Full Nelson (Verve, 1963)
  • More Blues and the Abstract Truth (Impulse!, 1964)
  • Fantabulous (Argo, 1964)
  • Oliver Nelson Plays Michelle (Impulse!, 1966)
  • Happenings with Hank Jones (Impulse!, 1966)
  • The Sound of Feeling (Verve, 1966)
  • Encyclopedia of Jazz (Verve, 1966)
  • The Spirit of '67 with Pee Wee Russell (Impulse!, 1967)
  • The Kennedy Dream (Impulse!, 1967)
  • Jazzhattan Suite (Verve, 1968)

With Joe Newman

  • Salute to Satch (RCA Victor, 1956)

With Anita O'Day

  • All the Sad Young Men (Verve, 1962)

With Pony Poindexter

  • Pony's Express (Epic, 1962)

With Jimmy Raney

  • Jimmy Raney Quintet 10 inch LP (Prestige, 1954)

With Jimmy Raney or Dick Hyman

  • Early Quintets (1953, 1954 (Prestige 1969)

With Lalo Schifrin

  • Samba Para Dos with Bob Brookmeyer (Verve, 1963)
  • Once a Thief and Other Themes (Verve, 1965)

With Shirley Scott

  • Roll 'Em: Shirley Scott Plays the Big Bands (Impulse!, 1966)

With Sahib Shihab

  • Jazz Sahib (Savoy, 1957)

With Jimmy Smith

  • Monster (Verve, 1965)
  • Hoochie Coochie Man (Verve, 1966)
  • Got My Mojo Workin' (Verve, 1966)

With Chris Swansen

  • Crazy Horse (Atlas, 1979)

With Billy Taylor

  • Kwamina (Mercury, 1961)

With Clark Terry

  • The Happy Horns of Clark Terry (Impulse!, 1964)
  • Squeeze Me! (Chiaroscuro, 1989)

With George Wallington

  • Jazz for the Carriage Trade (Prestige 1956)
  • The New York Scene (Prestige 1957)
  • Jazz at Hotchkiss (Savoy, 1957)

With Kai Winding

  • Kai Olé (Verve, 1961)


  1. ^ a b c Charles J. Gans (September 30, 2015). "Legendary Jazz Saxophonist Phil Woods Dies; Featured on Billy Joel Hit". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on October 3, 2015.
  2. ^ "Phil Woods - Bio | Capri Records Ltd". Retrieved 2015-12-11.
This page was last modified 03.04.2019 08:43:51

This article uses material from the article Phil Woods from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.