Damani PhillipsThe ReckoningSelf Produced2012Reckoning" is a complex word with many shades of meaning, an apt choice for reedman Damani Phillips' latest CD. As a noun, it signifies (among other things) an objective appraisal built with concrete facts. Used as a verb, the word denotes an educated guess based upon imaginative speculation. In any case, it suggests calculation underpinned by trust--whether in others, oneself, or a Higher Power. All these meanings suffuse Phillips' new release, by his own account a leap of faith and in several ways something of a ...read more
Damani PhillipsThe String TheorySelf Produced2010 The idea of adding strings to a jazz combo has long been a divisive issue among the music's aficionados. It's often disparaged by many purists as a commercial sell-out, similar to the fusion" concept of marrying jazz with rock. One self-proclaimed hard bop hardliner, Ken Blanchard, has blogged that strings can make the most obscure bop tenor palatable to a larger audience by packaging him in a thick coating of sugar." Yet Blanchard conceded that alto saxophonist Art Pepper's Winter Moon (OJC, 1980), tenor saxophonist Stan ...read more
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