phillip greenlief (b. 1959, los angeles) - (shorter bio and index of compositions listed below)
"The Bay Area's do-it-yourself ethos has produced a bevy of dazzlingly creative musicians, but few have put the philosophy to work as effectively as Phillip Greenlief". – Andrew Gilbert, San Francisco Chronicle
Acclaimed saxophonist and composer Phillip Greenlief is the founder of Evander Music; an independent record label presenting original composition, improvised music and jazz. Since 1986, his recordings and performances have received critical acclaim in Down Beat, All About Jazz, Jazz Times, Cadence, Modern Saxophone, InfraTunes (France), Altrisuoni (Italy), The Wire (London), Colossus (Finland), St. Petersburg Times (Russia), Cuademos de Jazz (Spain), New Jazz Improv (Portugal), Los Angeles Times, etc. His duo recordings of improvised music with bassist Trevor Dunn and drummer Scott Amendola received 5 stars in the Music Hound Jazz Essential Album Guide. Recordings with the Lost Trio and his compositions on Russian Notebooks (w/PG & Covered Pages) were listed on the Critics' Top 10 Recording List of 2000 & 2001 (SF Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, East Bay Express, and Downtown Music Guide (NYC). He is a recipient of the San Francisco Bay Guardian Goldie Award and was nominated for a 2013 composer residency at the Marin Headlands Center for the Arts.
"From standpoints of imagination, rhythm and technique (including circular breathing), Bay Arean Phillip Greenlief is one of the most astonishing saxists I've ever seen/heard." - Greg Burke, Metal Jazz
Greenlief began playing guitar and trumpet in elementary school and explored various instruments before discovering the saxophone in the mid-1970's. His ever-evolving relationship with the instrument continues to unfold with an expansive sound vocabulary, extreme dynamic range, a deep regard for melody and form, and a rollicking humor and wit that is not dissimilar to the Native American Coyote tales. As a composer, he has created nearly 300 works for practically every conceivable ensemble, including numerous pieces for solo saxophone, saxophone and string quartets, jazz ensembles, chamber groups, electro-acoustic improvisers, film projects, live theater, works for large ensemble and orchestra with choir. He is composer in residence with Rough and Tumble and teaches music at San Francisco Waldorf High School, and the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts. As an organizer, he has produced concerts for local musicians and internationally touring artists under the auspices of Evander Music Presents since 1997 and is currently serving as curator at Berkeley Arts.
"Phillip Greenlief is a reedman versatile enough to achieve anything except peace in Palestine" - LA WEEKLY