All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

177

Phil Woods and Bill Mays: Woods & Mays

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Putting two musicians of this caliber in a room and recording the results is a surefire recipe for success. Pianist Bill Mays and saxophone icon Phil Woods have little to prove at this point in their respective careers and their music isn't about defying expectations. Both men, on the contrary, carry the reputations that they do because they live up to the very expectations that surround them. On this duo set, Woods and Mays engage in classy conversation that flow like fine wine at a dinner party, and they build their music on a foundation of mutual respect and musical comfort.

Mays occupies the piano chair in Woods' quintet, and their shared evenings on the bandstand have helped to create a telepathic bond between them. While their performance sensibilities and musical taste are in line with one another throughout this nine song program, their connection seems to go even deeper than that. These men know each other so well that they seem to finish each others phrases ("Do I Love You") and know exactly what the other one is thinking.

Swing feels, whether with a relaxed gait ("All This And Heaven Too") or a bit more spunk ("The Best Thing For You Would Be Me"), underscore a number of these tracks, but no two songs are delivered in the same fashion. Some numbers point to a contrast in styles from the two musicians, as demonstrated by Woods' lovingly delivered lines and Mays' bluesy solo work on "All This And Heaven Too," but both men seem to be cut from the same cloth more often than not. They exhibit a class and charm befitting their subject on Woods' "Hank Jones" and they paint with Billy Strayhorn-like colors during "Danielle."

This pair's quick witted repartee is on display when they trade solos on "Blues For Lopes" and the cheerily prancing "I'm All Smiles," but they also know how to take things easy, as demonstrated on "How Long Has This Been Going On?." Mays provides the entry way into the song with a tender piano introduction and Woods' playing oozes over the piano like warm butter on a roll. While this proves to be the longest track on the album, it seems to go by in the blink of an eye. Woods & Mays is everything to be expected from two artists of their stature, proving that the "sound of surprise" isn't always as important as the sound of quality from two known and respected quantities.

Track Listing: All This And Heaven Too; Blues For Lopes; Danielle; Do I Love You?; Hank Jones; I'm All Smiles; How Long Has This Been Going On?; The Best Thing For You Would Be Me; Our Waltz.

Personnel: Phil Woods: alto saxophone; Bill Mays: piano.

Title: Woods & Mays | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Palmetto Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Blues For Lopes

Blues For Lopes

Phil Woods
Phil & Bill

Rediscovery
Catching Up With
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Songs One

Songs One

Philology Jazz Records
2015

buy
New Celebration

New Celebration

Chiaroscuro Records
2014

buy
Right To Swing

Right To Swing

Jazzed Media
2013

buy
New Celebration

New Celebration

Chiaroscuro Records
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Charlie & Paul CD/LP/Track Review
Charlie & Paul
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Sunlight CD/LP/Track Review
Sunlight
by Jeff Winbush
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Fullmoon CD/LP/Track Review
Fullmoon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Fullmoon CD/LP/Track Review
Fullmoon
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Arise! CD/LP/Track Review
Arise!
by Chris May
Published: April 24, 2018
Read "Hallways" CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Genuinity" CD/LP/Track Review Genuinity
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 31, 2018
Read "Mopocalypse" CD/LP/Track Review Mopocalypse
by Anthony Shaw
Published: January 25, 2018
Read "The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke" CD/LP/Track Review The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: December 26, 2017
Read "Ariel" CD/LP/Track Review Ariel
by Paul Rauch
Published: November 22, 2017
Read "Tetrawind" CD/LP/Track Review Tetrawind
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 24, 2017