Hope he's up there jamming with Coleman Hawkins and they are still playing when/if I get there.
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He was one of the great ones, and he will be missed.
As hard as I've tried, I still can not make the transition from old to new; his version of "Stolen Moments" is "old school" and I could listen to it all night long, going deeper and deeper into the beauty of the tune exactly as Mr. Woods is doing.
I noticed how Mr. Woods changed his style just a bit to get into the ebb and flow of Michell Legrand, and stay within the soul of the tune; that's the mark of a master musician.
Billy Joel "The Stranger", has been one of my favorite tunes from the day it came out, and today was my first discovery that beautiful sax solo was Phil Woods; such an unbelievable oversight is not uncommon with me, I just listen to the music without bothering to read who's playing it. From now on, when I play that tune, I'll drink a toast to Mr. Phil Woods.
Thank you so much Frogman for sharing some of your many memories of Mr. Phil Woods, and his music.
In spite of his "saltiness" he was a very humble individual when
it came to music matters. There is a great moment (@ 30:00) in the last
video I posted of his master class/performance to a group of young
musicians that I find particularly revealing of that humility. He is talking
about playing on pop recordings as a studio musician (the Billy Joel among
others) and he talks about how he chose which ones to accept to play on.
He doesn't say 'Well, I didn't accept some because I thought the music
sucked' . Instead, he says 'I didn't accept some because "I didn't
think I could contribute anything" ' . Right after that anecdote he talks
about being married to Chan, Charlie Parker's widow and an encounter
with Charles Mingus; priceless.