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Bouncin' With Bud and Phil features a front line of two veteran alto saxophonists, Bud Shank and Phil Woods, in a freewheeling, sometimes thoughtful, often elegant wailing live session. Both are septuagenarians, and the set sounds less like a sparring sessiona younger man's gamethan a lively conversation, full of spirited give and take, a swapping of informed ideas, and embellishments and expansions of each others' statements, rather than a game of musical one-upmanship.
Phil Woods has long been a master bopper, informed by Charlie Parker, and he's worked with everyone over the yearsincluding Benny Goodman, Buddy Rich, Quincy Jones, and Thelonious Monkand has released a number of excellent recordings with his quintets. Bud Shank's style leans toward the cooler side. He started out with Charlie Barnett and Stan Kenton, and has performed with the New American Orchestra, the Gerald Wilson Big Band, and the Stan Kenton Neophonic Orchestra, as well as too many always-innovative projects of his own to mention. Both men have remained vital creative artists into their seventies.
The set opens with Bud Powell's "Bouncin' With Bud," the two hornmen wailing on the up-tempo classic, with stereo separation giving a nice display of their stylistic similarities and differencesShank on the left channel, Woods on the rightand closes out with Gigi Gryce's "Minority," opening and closing hot. In between the band stretches out on George Cables "Helen's Song," Benny Carter's "Summer Serenade," and Billy May's "Gemma's Eyes," in front of an outstanding rhythm sectionSan Diego mainstays Mike Wofford (piano) and Bob Magnusson (bass), along with Bill Goodwin (drums), who has played with Phil Woods for thirty years and counting.
A couple of alto masters at work in a relaxed and spontaneous outing.