1,846

Phil Woods / Stan Kenton / The Les Hooper Band

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Phil Woods / DePaul University Jazz Ensemble
Solitude
Jazzed Media
2010

Not to underplay the title, but Solitude, from alto saxophone master Phil Woods and the splendid DePaul University Jazz Ensemble, embodies far more than the sort of serenity it implies. In fact, Woods is as animated and inventive as ever, swinging lustily and full of vim and vigor at age 78, while director Bob Lark's enterprising undergrads urge him on with inspired blowing on every number.

The studio session is further enhanced by the presence on three tracks of the other members of the Phil Woods Quartet: pianist Jim McNeely (a frequent visitor to DePaul), bassist Steve Gilmore and drummer Bill Goodwin. While McNeely is the only one of the three to solo—on "A Child's Blues" and "Nothing But Soul"—Gilmore and Goodwin make their presence felt in other ways, granting the ensemble the unflagging benefit of their many years together as a working rhythm section. Besides soloing brilliantly, Woods composed all of the album's 10 selections ("Solitude" isn't the well-known Ellington theme but an original by Woods), and none is less than engaging. The seductive arrangements are by Woods ("Randi," "Ol' Dude," "Solitude"), McNeely, Mike Pinto, Kirk Garrison, Tom Matta and two members of the ensemble, trumpeters Scott Dickinson and Joe Clark.

Although Woods exercises his prerogative as leader / legend-in-residence and takes the lion's share of the solos, there are persuasive comments along the way by DePaul's pianist, Dan Dufford ("Randi," "Solitude"), vibraphonist Justin Thomas ("Before I Left," "Flowers," "Ol' Dude," Mother Time"), trumpeter Dickinson ("Before I Left," "Song for Sass"), tenor Alex Beltran ("Ol' Dude"), trombonist Bryan Tipps ("Ol' Dude," "Mother Time") and alto Nick Mazzarella ("Ol' Dude"). The program consists of an artful blend of burners and ballads with the playful, self-mocking "Ol' Dude" and two Latin charmers ("Brazilian Affair," "Song for Sass") sandwiched in to spice up the menu, which they do quite nicely. The DePaul ensemble provides unswerving support in those settings, as it does throughout the lambent session.

In sum, a buoyant and picturesque album that is sure to give any listener many hours of pleasure, whether in Solitude or encircled by others.


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read "David Longoria: Embracing Innovation" In The Biz David Longoria: Embracing Innovation
by Kathy Sanborn
Published: November 9, 2016
Read "Vocalist Sinne Eeg at Chris’ Jazz Cafe" Live Reviews Vocalist Sinne Eeg at Chris’ Jazz Cafe
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: March 25, 2016
Read "The Power Quintet at Jazz Standard" Live Reviews The Power Quintet at Jazz Standard
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "Pat Martino Trio at Mount Vernon Country Club" Live Reviews Pat Martino Trio at Mount Vernon Country Club
by Douglas Groothuis
Published: March 7, 2016
Read "Bray Jazz 2016" Live Reviews Bray Jazz 2016
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 10, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!