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 Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Reinvented" CD/LP/Track Review Reinvented
by Jim Olin
Published: February 27, 2016
Read "88" CD/LP/Track Review 88
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 24, 2016
Read "Vit" CD/LP/Track Review Vit
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 7, 2017
Read "Infinitude" CD/LP/Track Review Infinitude
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 31, 2016
Read "Piano Mating" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Mating
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 28, 2016
Read "Equal Crossing" CD/LP/Track Review Equal Crossing
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: August 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!