185

Flip Phillips: Swing Is The Thing

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Generational differences often dictate jazz listening patterns. A younger jazz fan may prefer James Carter over Benny Carter, Ornette Coleman to George Coleman, and so on. Enthusiasm for today’s jazz ‘stars’ should be encouraged, and if your motivation for picking up a copy of tenor saxophonist Flip Phillips’ Verve outing is to complete your collection of Joe Lovano, James Carter, or Benny Green records, your wishes will be well served. But you’ll also be surprised and charmed by two musicians not regularly heard on major labels: Howard Alden and Flip Phillips. Phillips, now 85 years young, began playing alto saxophone and clarinet in the 1930s. He made his mark with Benny Goodman, Red Norvo, and through a famous stint with Woody Herman. Phillips was also a regular on Norman Granz' Jazz At The Philharmonic series, working beside such saxophone titans as Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins and Charlie Parker. Guitarist Howard Alden, some forty-years Phillips junior, dutifully enhances his return to the national spotlight. Alden, a modern swing stylist, plays with an efficiency and rhythm that is an infectious mixture of pre-bop sound with a very modern logic. His prior recordings on the Concord label are worth searching out.

The disc opens and closes with “The Mark Of Zorro” a three-tenor workout ala JATP. James Carter and Joe Lovano each share one additional track with Phillips. Carter and Phillips share the mild “Where Or When,” with JC sounding like an extra from Robert Altman’s Kansas City. Lovano steps into the up-tempo “Flip The Whip,” with a JATP-friendly noncutting contest take. But the meat and meaning to this disc is the subtle and sometime frail emotive quality to Phillips’ ballad playing. At age 85 he can’t be expected to thrill us with technique, so he romances your sensibilitirs. On “Music, Maestro, Please” everyone sits out except Green, Alden, and Phillips. In this intimate setting, the elder statesman tells us everything you need to know about love, life and jazz.

Track List:The Mark Of Zorro – Intro; I Hadn’t Anyone Till You; Everything I Have Is Yours; Where Or When; In A Mellow Tone; Exactly Like Us; Music, Maestro, Please; Swing Is The Thing; For All We Know; Flip The Whip; Susan’s Dream; This Is All I Ask; Grand Rose; The Mark Of Zorro.


Personnel: Flip Phillips

Title: Swing Is The Thing | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Verve Music Group


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn CD/LP/Track Review Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 18, 2017
Read The Princess CD/LP/Track Review The Princess
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Queen City Blues CD/LP/Track Review Queen City Blues
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Latin Lover CD/LP/Track Review Latin Lover
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Reclamation CD/LP/Track Review Reclamation
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Provenance CD/LP/Track Review Provenance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 17, 2017
Read "Obfusc/ation" CD/LP/Track Review Obfusc/ation
by Doug Collette
Published: April 18, 2017
Read "The Long Slog" CD/LP/Track Review The Long Slog
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 11, 2017
Read "Music From Our Soul" CD/LP/Track Review Music From Our Soul
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 20, 2017
Read "Storm" CD/LP/Track Review Storm
by Jim Olin
Published: September 17, 2017
Read "Looking Forward" CD/LP/Track Review Looking Forward
by Geannine Reid
Published: September 6, 2017
Read "Platinum on Tap" CD/LP/Track Review Platinum on Tap
by Geannine Reid
Published: September 8, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.

Please support out sponsor