366

Phil Woods: The Children's Suite

Andrew Velez By

Sign in to view read count
Phil Woods: The Children's Suite Well of course. NEA Jazz Master Phil Woods' The Children's Suite, inspired by the verses of A.A. Milne. Woods has been widely and wildly prolific throughout his career since his early small group days as a teenager, blowing ebulliently with Jimmy Raney and George Wallington, so it should be no surprise that he's created musical settings for these beloved poems from Now We Are Six, featuring Christopher Robin and his imaginary friend Pooh. Along with an industrial-strength orchestra, he's joined by two vocalists, jazz great Bob Doroughand Vicki Doney, as well as actor Peter Dennis, the latter being the only one authorized by the Milne estate to recite his poetry.

On "Come Out With Me," Doney warbles of "sun on the water," and of being admonished to "run along, run along" in light, cheery manner with just a dash of subtle blues melody. It's a prelude to a pensive, compelling Woods solo. The full orchestra flows in with an especially shimmering string section before Doney caps it off. Slightly melancholic, it is at once as pretty as it is unadorned.

Dennis' crisply clipped rendition of "Sneezles" is punctuated just so by Eric Doney's piquant piano. Dorough playfully meows his way through "Pinkie Purr," adding dashes of his keyboard with Tom Hamilton injecting flavorful heat on tenor sax. Prior familiarity with this and the other thirteen poems is not necessary. All that is spoken and sung prove to be syntonic with the jazz improvisations to sparkling and often touching effect.

Woods first created this suite over forty years ago. The long journey for performance permission from the Milne estate was worth Woods' determination. Charming and swinging, The Children's Suite bids fair to become a classic to be relished by towheads and grey-heads alike.


Track Listing: The Good Little Girl; Come Out With Me; Sneezles; Pinkie Purr; Down by the Pond; Waiting at the Window; Buttercup Days; The Friend & Us Two; Furry Bear; Knight-in-Armor; Wind on the Hill & The Engineer; Solitude; The Morning Walk; In the Dark & The End.

Personnel: Phil Woods: conductor, alto saxophone; Vicki Doney: vocals; Bob Dorough: vocals, keyboards; Peter Dennis: narrator; Nelson Hill: alto sax, flute; Tom Hamilton: tenor sax, clarinet; Roger Rosenberg: baritone sax, bass clarinet; Ken Brader III: trumpet, flugelhorn; Bobby Routch: french horn, flugelhorn; Rick Chamberlain: trombone; Eric Doney: piano; Mark Williams: guitar; Steve Gilmore: bass; Bill Goodwin: drums; Paul Peabody: violin; Joanna Ferrer: violin; Juliet Heffner: viola; Mary Wooten: Cello.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Jazzed Media | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Song of the Free Will" CD/LP/Track Review Song of the Free Will
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 16, 2016
Read "Live at Club Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Club Helsinki
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 2, 2017
Read "Old Door Phantoms" CD/LP/Track Review Old Door Phantoms
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 5, 2016
Read "Journey To The Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Journey To The Heart
by Jeff Winbush
Published: August 12, 2016
Read "Chronicles" CD/LP/Track Review Chronicles
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 29, 2016
Read "05:21" CD/LP/Track Review 05:21
by Jim Trageser
Published: November 28, 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!