All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

166

Benjamin Koppel featuring Phil Woods and the Alex Riel Trio: Pass the Bebop

Ken Dryden By

Sign in to view read count
Even though Phil Woods jokes at every opportunity that, "Emphysema is nature's way of telling you that you're playing too fast, the alto saxophonist still brings a special touch to any recording date, as he remains one of the most inventive improvisers on his instrument with a sound that is always recognizable within a few seconds. Woods is also no stranger to playing in small groups with a second altoist, having recorded a number of sessions with Gene Quill and Lee Konitz, taking part in various alto summit recordings with several fellow players and appearing on Bud Shank's Bouncing with Bud & Phil (Capri, 2005).

During a 2005 trip to Europe by the NEA Jazz Master, fellow alto saxophonist Benjamin Koppel invited Woods to join him for this recording, with drummer Alex Riel's top-notch group (bassist Mads Vinding and pianist Heine Hansen) fueling the two reedmen. Though decades younger than his special guest, Koppel is inspired by his presence.

The leader contributes seven originals for the session, most of which feature Woods soloing ahead of Koppel. Highlights include the laconic ballad "Mother's Song, the playful blues "36-14 (A Bop Result) with a punchy Woods solo, along with the strutting mid-tempo title track, which is introduced by the altos in unison and showcasing inventive solos by Woods, Hansen and Koppel. The lush, reflective ballad "Before the Concert initially suggests a moment of quiet meditation alone in the dressing room, though the lively solos exchanged are more like animated conversation and shared laughs by a group prior to going on stage.

Woods chose two standards that have been a part of his repertoire for decades. The two altoists open "How High the Moon by themselves, trading off complementary exchanges in a setting that simmers slowly to a boil. Woods is afire in "Autumn Leaves, demonstrating that the onetime "Fundance Kid still has plenty to say now that he's the "Old Man. Koppel clearly benefited from bringing Woods on board and is a promising young talent who should go far.


Track Listing: Chess Party; Mother's Song; 36-13 (A Bop Result); How High The Moon; Pass The Bebop; K.O.(I'm Fishing In The Seine); Autumn Leaves; Before The Concert; Razorbill Relaxin'.

Personnel: Benjamin Koppel, Phil Woods: alto saxophone; Heine Hansen: piano; Mads Vinding: bass; Alex Riel: drums.

Title: Pass the Bebop | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Cowbell Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

What is Poetry?

What is Poetry?

Benjamin Koppel
The Poetic Principle

Pasadena Pancakes

Pasadena Pancakes

Benjamin Koppel
Hammond Street

Farewell My Heart, My House

Farewell My Heart, My House

Benjamin Koppel
Blues and Ballads

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
 

Valby Summer Jazz

Improvising Beings
2011

buy
 

The Poetic Principle

JazzPA - Summer Jazz Celebration
2010

buy
 

Walden

Improvising Beings
2009

buy
 

The Reykjavik...

JazzPA - Summer Jazz Celebration
2009

buy
 

The Copenhagen...

JazzPA - Summer Jazz Celebration
2009

buy
 

The Poetic Principle

Improvising Beings
2008

buy

Related Articles

Read Seymour Reads The Constitution! CD/LP/Track Review
Seymour Reads The Constitution!
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 24, 2018
Read Half Light CD/LP/Track Review
Half Light
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 24, 2018
Read The Groove Hunter CD/LP/Track Review
The Groove Hunter
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 24, 2018
Read Powered by Life CD/LP/Track Review
Powered by Life
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 24, 2018
Read Mephiti CD/LP/Track Review
Mephiti
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2018
Read Seymour Reads The Constitution! CD/LP/Track Review
Seymour Reads The Constitution!
by Doug Collette
Published: May 23, 2018
Read "Wonder Trail" CD/LP/Track Review Wonder Trail
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 3, 2018
Read "Oostum" CD/LP/Track Review Oostum
by John Sharpe
Published: April 11, 2018
Read "Kill The Boy" CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017
Read "The Source" CD/LP/Track Review The Source
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 26, 2017
Read "Quiet Life" CD/LP/Track Review Quiet Life
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 5, 2017
Read "In Transit" CD/LP/Track Review In Transit
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: December 27, 2017