Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Phil's best ever - but only part of it
James A. Vedda | Alexandria, VA USA | 12/19/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This session, recorded in 1976, was the performance of a lifetime - Phil Woods at his peak on alto and soprano. The original double-LP set won the 1977 Grammy Award for best jazz performance by a group, and was picked as one of the ten best records of that year by Time Magazine. So why only four stars? Because this 1991 CD release leaves out 49 minutes of the music that was on the original LP set, and because the price (ranging from $28 to over $50 as of this writing) is too high.
I bought this CD several years ago, for a reasonable price. Amazon has chosen not to post the track list, so here it is:
1) A Sleepin' Bee (7:34)
2) Rain Danse (8:15)
3) Bye Bye Baby (7:49)
4) Django's Castle (5:48)
5) Cheek to Cheek (11:45)
6) I'm Late (7:23)
7) Superwoman (5:49)
8) High Clouds (5:51)
9) How's Your Mama (5:29)
The four tracks missing from this set are "Lady J," "Little Niles," "A Little Peace," and "Brazilian Affair." That last piece is a four-part suite, 22 minutes long, that is a great showcase for Woods on both alto and soprano. It's a crime that they cut it from this collection.
Everyone in the group turns in an excellent performance, and the arrangements are incredibly innovative. You won't believe that old tunes like "Cheek to Cheek" and "I'm Late" can cook this hot. On the slow side, "Superwoman" is pure seduction. Another of my favorites is "High Clouds," a fast mover that has brilliant interplay between Woods and guitarist Harry Leahey.
A 2006 release of the entire session, under the original title "The Phil Woods Six Live From The Showboat," is listed on Amazon. But as I write this, the product page says, "Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock." This is appalling given the quality and importance of this recording. If you're looking for alternatives, I suggest you check out three other outstanding albums from Woods during the same era: "The New Phil Woods Album," "Floresta Canto," and "Song for Sisyphus" (also released as "Summer Afternoon Jazz")."