Phil WoodsPhil Woods

Philip Wells Woods (Springfield, Massachusetts, 2 de noviembre de 1931 – Stroudsbourg (Pensylvania), 29 de setiembre de 2015) fue un músico estadounidense de jazz, saxofonista alto y clarinetista; también ha tocado ocasionalmente el soprano. Se encuadra en la corriente estilística del bebop.

Woods estudió música con Lennie Tristano, que ha sido una gran influencia en su carrera, en la Manhattan School of Music y en The Juilliard School. Su amigo Joe Lopes le enseñó a tocar el clarinete, pues no había saxofón principal en Juilliard por esa época. Aunque nunca copió a Charlie Parker, fue conocido como el «New Bird», un apodo que también se le ha aplicado a otros músicos como Sonny Stitt y Cannonball Adderley en un momento u otro de sus carreras.

Tras marchar a Francia en 1968, Woods lideró The European Rhythm Machine, un grupo que tendía a la vanguardia jazzística. Regresó a los Estados Unidos en 1972 y, tras un frustrado intento de establecer un grupo electrónico, formó un quinteto que perduró, con algunos cambios en sus componentes, hasta 2004.

En 1979, Woods grabó More Live, en el Armadillo World Headquarters en Austin, Texas. Su trabajo como acompañante más conocido ha sido, quizá, el tema pop de Billy Joel «Just the Way You Are», en el que toca el saxo alto. Tocó también el saxo alto en el tema de Steely Dan “Doctor Wu”, de su conocido y elogiado disco de 1975 Katy Lied, así como en el éxito de Paul Simon de 1975 Have a Good Time.

Aunque Woods es sobre todo saxofonista, es también un fino clarinetista y sus solos se hallan desperdigados a lo largo de sus grabaciones. Un buen ejemplo es su solo de clarinete en Misirlou del disco Into The Woods.

La mañana del 29 de septiembre de 2015, el gran maestro Phil Woods falleció tras una larga batalla contra el enfisema pulmonar.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 label which was also attached to other alto players such as Sonny Stitt and Cannonball Adderley at one time or another in their careers.

In the mid-’50s, Woods began to front his own bands. He got major exposure after Quincy Jones invited him to accompany a 1956 State Department-sponsored world tour with the big band of Dizzy Gillespie. In 1959 Woods traveled Europe with Jones’ band; in 1962 he participated in Benny Goodman’s Russian tour.[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 (see discography below).

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]

Phil Woods was married to Chan Parker, the widow of Charlie Parker, for 17 years from 1955 and was stepfather to Chan’s daughter Kim.[1] On September 4, 2015, Woods performed a tribute to Charlie Parker with Strings at the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, and announced toward the end of the show that he would be retiring. Woods died September 29, 2015, at the age of 83.[3]Philip Wells Woods (Springfield, Massachusetts 2 de novembre de 1931 – Stroudsbourg (Pensylvania), 29 de setembre de 2015) va ser un músic americà de jazz, saxofonista alt i clarinetista; també ha tocat ocasionalment el soprano. S’enquadra en el corrent estilística del bebop.

Woods va estudiar música amb Lennie Tristano, que ha estat una gran influència en la seva carrera, a la Manhattan School of Music i en The Juilliard School. El seu amic Joe Lopes li va ensenyar a tocar el clarinet, ja que no hi havia saxofon principal en Juilliard per aquesta època. Encara que mai va copiar a Charlie Parker, va ser conegut com el «New Bird», un sobrenom que també se li ha aplicat a altres músics com Sonny Stitt i Cannonball Adderley en un moment o altre de les seves carreres.

Després de marxar a França el 1968, Woods va liderar The European Rhythm Machine, un grup que tendia a l’avantguarda jazzística. Va tornar als Estats Units el 1972 i, després d’un frustrat intent d’establir un grup electrònic, va formar un quintet que va perdurar, amb alguns canvis en els seus components, fins a 2004.

El 1979, Woods va gravar More Live, al Armadillo World Headquarters a Austin, Texas. El seu treball com a acompanyant més conegut ha estat, potser, el tema pop de Billy Joel «Just the Way You Are», en el qual toca el saxo alt. Va tocar també el saxo alt en el tema de Steely Dan “Doctor Wu”, del seu conegut i elogiat disc de 1975 Katy Lied, així com en l’èxit de Paul Simon de 1975 Have a Good Time.

Encara Woods és sobretot saxofonista, és també un fi clarinetista i els seus solos es troben escampats al llarg dels seus enregistraments. Un bon exemple és el seu sol de clarinet en Misirlou del disc Into The Woods.

El matí del 29 de setembre de 2015, el gran mestre Phil Woods va morir després d’una llarga batalla contra l’emfisema pulmonar.