Phil Woods: A Life in E-Flat
Whenever Woods pauses, the spotlight returns to the studio where he and the band some of whose members are trumpeter Brian Lynch, pianist Bill Charlap and Phil's rhythm section of thirty years, bassist Steve Gilmore and drummer Bill Goodwin are working on songs for the album including "Q's Delight," "For Lena and Lennie" and "Quintessence." Woods breaks away from time to time to discuss other aspects of his career his first band, his years abroad with the European Rhythm Machine, and his "famous" solo on Billy Joel's mega-hit, "Just the Way You Are." "We did that one evening in a studio," Woods recalls. "Just Phil Ramone and me. I think he had the changes written on the back of a matchbook cover. Two takes; we were in and out in about half an hour. And suddenly I'm known all over the world. I'm in a hotel and this young musician, maybe eighteen or nineteen years old, says to me, 'Are you the guy on the Billy Joel record?' When I tell him yes, I am, he says, 'Have you done anything on your own?'" Woods says he's not ashamed or embarrassed to have played with Joel and a number of other pop and rock musicians. "It's not selling out," he says. "I'm a professional musician. And if I could have changed the course of American music I'd have done it years ago."
The documentary is amplified by more than twenty minutes of "additional interviews" in which Woods reminisces about Bird, Diz, the Birdland All-Stars, his "on the road" education (first bus tour), his alto "brother" Gene Quill, falling in love with his beloved Jill, recording with Michel Legrand and winning a Grammy for the album Images, and other topics. There's also a twenty-six page printable Phil Woods discography. It's a colorful and often fascinating journey, one that is well worth the ride, as is its companion CD on Jazzed Media, This Is How I Feel About Quincy. My advice? Get 'em both.
Additional Interviews 22:17
TOTAL VIEWING TIME 86:41