Born: November 2, 1931 Primary Instrument: Sax, alto
Phil Woods joined the jazz music scene in New York during the late 1940’s when bebop was gaining popularity as the new direction of American jazz. After graduating from Juilliard Music School Phil quickly gained fame by joining the Birdland All Stars Tour of 1956, and then the Dizzy Gillespie State Department Tour throughout the Middle East. During the late 1950’s Phil worked with jazz luminaries including Quincy Jones and Thelonious Monk. Phil’s partnership with Gene Quill in the late 1950’s established Phil as a major jazz star and led to many exciting recordings during the 1960’s. After moving to Europe in 1968 Phil formed the “European Rhythm Machine” which kept Phil busy during the challenging period for jazz in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Phil returned to the United States in the early 1970’s and had one of the first major “crossover” hits in the popular field by recording the now legendary solo in Billy Joel’s top selling song “Just the Way You Are”. Phil received several Grammy nominations and awards during the 1970’s and formed a 30 year working relationship with Quintet members Bill Goodwin and Steve Gilmore. Phil currently resides in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania and tours the world sharing his gifted interpretations of the Great American Songbook, while continuing to carry the torch of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie in the bebop music idiom.
~ Graham Carter, Producer