Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

5

Phil Woods & the Festival Orchestra: New Celebration

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Any album with the renowned Phil Woods leading a big band (or jazz orchestra) is cause for celebration, especially so when he has written all but one of the charts and takes the bulk of the alto solos. More than fifteen years have passed since Woods last recorded with the COTA Festival Orchestra from his home precinct in Delaware Gap, PA, and that earlier album (Celebration!, Concord 4770) was nominated for a Grammy Award. This New Celebration, Woods' second recording for Chiaroscuro, deserves no less, as it swings and sparkles from stem to stern and port to starboard, driven ever onward and upward by Woods and his talented colleagues, especially lead trumpeter Nate Ecklund and drummer Tom Whaley.

Even though the ensemble and soloists are exemplary, what sets the album apart from most others are Woods' engaging compositions and arrangements, as persuasive as you are likely to hear on any big-band recording. There are ten tracks in all, and Woods wrote and scored the first eight, while also arranging Johnny Mandel's shuffling salute to the late great Al Cohn, "Here's to Alvy." Cohn arranged the finale (and lone vocal, by Nawja Parkins), "You Don't Know What Love Is," more than half a century ago for the Terry Gibbs Dream Band, and it remains as fresh and exhilarating today as it was then.

The orchestra sets its compass from the outset with Woods' buoyant "Bop'n Bob Don't Stop," which precedes a warm-hearted tribute to pianist "Hank Jones," on which his burnished alto is out front, and a pair of well-masked standards, "And It Was Nowhere" ("Out of Nowhere") and "Before I Left" ("After You've Gone"). Woods next pays homage to Art Pepper (the bossa "Goodbye Mr. Pepper"), Charlie Parker (the ebullient "Get Bird's Word") and a dear friend, the late clarinetist Hank DAmico ("Ballad for Hank") before taking a cue from Frank Foster with the smooth, Basie-style "Shiny Pants." Pianist Skip Wilkins and flugel Chris Persad share solo honors on "Pepper," altos Woods, Matt Vashlishan, Nelson Hill and Jay Rattman on "Bird's Word," Rattman (clarinet) on "Ballad for Hank." Tenors Bob Keller and Tom Hamilton burn rubber on "Alvy," while Persad does likewise on "Bop'n Bob" and he and Hamilton excel on "Shiny Pants."

More could be said, but space is limited. Bottom line: a superlative album, among the best to come along since that first Celebration way back in 1997.

Track Listing: Bop’n Bob Don’t Stop; Hank Jones; And It Was Nowhere; Before I Left; Goodbye, Mr. Pepper; Get Bird’s Word; Ballad for Hank; Shiny Pants; Here’s to Alvy; You Don’t Know What Love Is.

Personnel: Phil Woods: leader, composer, arranger, alto sax; Danny Cahn: trumpet; Nathan Eklund: trumpet; Chris Persad: trumpet; Vanessa Meggiolaro: trumpet; Eddie Severn: trumpet; Patrick Dorian: trumpet; Jay Rattman: alto, baritone sax, clarinet; Nelson Hill: alto sax, flute, clarinet; Matt Vashlishan: alto sax, flute, clarinet; Tom Hamilton: tenor sax, flute, clarinet; Bob Keller: tenor sax, flute, clarinet; Jim Buckley: baritone sax, bass clarinet; Rick Chamberlain: trombone; Sam Burtis: trombone; Fred Scott: trombone; Jim Daniels: bass trombone; Skip Wilkins: piano; Spencer Reed: guitar; Evan Gregor: bass; Tom Whaley: drums; Najwa Parkins: vocal (10).

Title: New Celebration | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Chiaroscuro Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Blues For Lopes

Blues For Lopes

Phil Woods
Phil & Bill

Radio
Rediscovery
Catching Up With
CD/LP/Track Review
Profiles
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
Read more articles
Songs One

Songs One

Philology Jazz Records
2015

buy
New Celebration

New Celebration

Chiaroscuro Records
2014

buy
Right To Swing

Right To Swing

Jazzed Media
2013

buy
New Celebration

New Celebration

Chiaroscuro Records
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review
Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard
by Doug Collette
Published: December 13, 2018
Read The Forest from Above CD/LP/Track Review
The Forest from Above
by John Eyles
Published: December 13, 2018
Read Imaginary Band CD/LP/Track Review
Imaginary Band
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 13, 2018
Read Night CD/LP/Track Review
Night
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: December 13, 2018
Read An Ayler Xmas Volume 2 CD/LP/Track Review
An Ayler Xmas Volume 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 13, 2018
Read I Always Knew CD/LP/Track Review
I Always Knew
by Paul Rauch
Published: December 12, 2018
Read "Thelonious Sphere Monk" CD/LP/Track Review Thelonious Sphere Monk
by Kevin Press
Published: February 1, 2018
Read "Live at Pyatt Hall" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Pyatt Hall
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 23, 2018
Read "YUL" CD/LP/Track Review YUL
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 8, 2018
Read "Los Vínculos" CD/LP/Track Review Los Vínculos
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: August 1, 2018
Read "Meander" CD/LP/Track Review Meander
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 6, 2018
Read "Atwood Suites" CD/LP/Track Review Atwood Suites
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 16, 2018