Saxophone doesn't get any more beautiful than this
James A. Vedda | Alexandria, VA USA | 03/30/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I discovered this album when the original LP was still available in the late 1970s. It's a shame that it took so long to appear on CD, and then only in this high-priced limited edition import. To put it simply, the superb playing by Woods on alto and soprano combined with exquisite orchestrations make this the best demonstration of the shear beauty of the saxophone that I've ever found. Yes, it's even more beautiful than Stan Getz's "Voices" album. And I'm saying this as someone who has been an active saxophonist for 37 years.
The album's title is Spanish for "forest song," and the Latin flavor is captured throughout the selections. The rhythms draw you in, and if you listen on headphones or otherwise eliminate outside distractions, you undoubtedly will find yourself transported to another place and time. I dare you to try this with "Sails," "Roses," "Without You," or "Jesse" and attempt to stay rooted to your mundane surroundings. And if you want something that quickens the pulse, "Canto de Ossanha" and "Meniño das Laranjas" certainly do the trick.
Every lover of the saxophone should have this album. And in general, if you want to vastly improve the quality of your jazz collection, seek out everything Phil Woods recorded from 1975 to 1980."
James K. Stewart | Louisville, Ky USA | 07/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I totally agree with Mr. Vedda's review. I became a Phil Woods freak
after hearing so many of his beautiful records (including this) and
solo features with major composers and arrangers, including Pat Williams
and Michel Legrand. Track down the "American Concerto" recording (vinyl
only at this point), composed/arranged by Pat Williams, or the "Images"
cd w/Michel Legrand for head-shaking proof. "Floresta" is even more
proof. It's very mellow at times, but never less than perfect, and with
absolutely gorgeous orchestral backing. I had the vinyl lp back in the
70's, and played it to death. Just recently acquired the Japanese cd
of this now under review and am in musical heaven. My next Woods' cd
on order is the Japanese issue of the long out-of-print lp "The New Phil
Woods Album". Bless those Japanese for re-issuing CORRECTLY all of these
old, beautiful lp's on cd, and in alot of cases, re-issuing BOTCHED
CD'S correctly (best example I know is "Sometimes Late At Night" by
the fabulous Carole Bayer Sager)."
A perennial favorite
Bruce Kennett | 05/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought my LP copy of Floresta Canto in 1978 -- a British pressing, used -- and still love it. I subsequently tried an American pressing of the LP but the British one is superior both tonally and dynamically. I have not heard the CD so all I can hope is that they mastered it well . . . given that it's a Japanese production I'm sure they did.
A note for any potential buyer who is scared off by the strings: in general I am NOT a fan of jazz with strings. I do not like the Stan Getz "Focus" album and I don't like "Bird with Strings." Usually to my ear the strings are syrupy and way too bland, but here they are used as counterpoint for PW's saxophone, and Phil carries the melody while they provide dynamic shadings alongside. The percussion section is full of the most DELICIOUS textures from the Brasilian instruments such as caxixi, guiro, quica, cabasa, claves, agogo, etc. Not to mention Gordon Beck on keyboards, and Kenny Wheeler on trumpet! A truly beautiful album. I have been listening to this steadily for 30 years without growing tired of it!!
Btw, another great PW album with a latin tinge is "Astor and Elis" on Chesky."