July 16, 1993 |
Alto saxophonist Phil Woods opened Tuesday at Catalina with arguably the most powerful frontline in his quintet's 20-year history. The significant new member is Brian Lynch, a masterful soloist who came to prominence as a trumpeter with the late Art Blakey and later worked in the Toshiko Akiyoshi band. Lynch is even more in command today than he was with Blakey, offering peerless, flawless, seamless improvisations and collaborating empathetically with Woods. Lynch also is a gifted composer.
August 8, 1987 |
The Phil Woods Quintet is in town for another of its all too brief visits, this time at Catalina's in a three-night run that ends this evening. Woods is one of the fortunate few who can claim to have a band, as opposed to a bunch of locally recruited assistants. His trumpeter, Tom Harrell, is a veritable babe in the Woods, having joined up only four years ago. Pianist Hal Galper is in his seventh year as a Woods sideman.
June 14, 1992 |
Both the pluses and the minuses of a live recording are present in this outing by the alto saxophonist's quintet. Recorded at Catalina Bar & Grill in September, it is, in its best moments, a sparkling showcase for the leader's spirited horn playing. Woods' most engaging quality--abundantly displayed here--is a continuing capacity for musical growth.
September 12, 1991 |
Question: Why has Phil Woods been one of the most repeatedly honored jazz alto saxophonists of the last few decades? For the answer, check out Catalina Bar & Grill this week, where Woods is providing an object lesson in the contemporary vitality of jazz. His opening night Tuesday was a no-nonsense mixture of well-crafted compositions and--especially on his part--superb improvising.
December 22, 1989 |
No doubt as insurance against the pre-Christmas slump, Catalina Popescu brought Phil Woods to her Catalina Bar & Grill for a run that began Tuesday. Judging by the business on opening night, the ploy worked well. The Woods group has changed slightly in its tonal character. With the departure of trumpeter Tom Harrell, it was decided to replace him with a trombonist. Woods could hardly have made a better choice than Hal Crook, who fits the quintet admirably.
January 26, 1989 |
Familiarity in the jazz world breeds contentment. It can produce--among gifted artists long aware of one another's personalities--a rare level of collective invention. So it is with the Phil Woods Quintet, playing for a week at Catalina Bar & Grill in Hollywood. When the alto saxophonist organized this group in 1975, he had a solid rhythmic foundation in the persons of drummer Bill Goodwin and bassist Steve Gilmore, both of whom are still with him.