Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Dizzy Gillespie meets Phil Woods Quintet

Timeless re-issues historical recordings.
World class! 
Hans Koert

In its series Timeless Jazz Legacy Remastered Timeless re-issued several interesting  lp releases from the past on cd.  In a previous blog I wrote about the  Nat Adderley disc in its series – today I have the Dizzy Gillespie meets Phil Woods Quintet cd ( TJL 74513) in my hands.

Dizzy Gillespie Meets Phil Woods Quintet ( Timeless Jazz Legacy TJL 74513)

The album contains six tracks all recorded at a recording session at Studio 44 in Monster ( The Netherlands) by the well known Dutch recording engineer Max Bolleman. 
Timeless SJP 250 (orig. cover in color)

A series of concerts by Dizzy Gillespie and the Phil Woods Quintet  had been crowned by this recording session. Wim Wigt, producer and owner of Timeless Records says on the original lp-cover ….. This record is a result of one week performing and rehearsing together.  The album shows exactly the atmosphere in which the concerts were done, an intense meeting of the real giant in jazz.  It’s unknown to me, I haven’t found ads to proof it, if this band also performed in Holland, but the French Jazz Magazine  published a raving review of this bands concert during the previous week in Toulouse (France).During these series of concerts, Dizzy Gillespie was the special guest in Phil Woods Quintet, featuring  Phil Woods on alto saxophone, trumpet player Tom Harrell and in the rhythm section Nat Galper at the piano, Steve Gilmore on bass and Bill Goodwin on drums.

Phil Woods (1978) ( source: Wikepedia.org)

During this period Dizzy was a  celebrated icon in modern jazz ……….. He performed and recorded extensively  in various small groups and all-star bands and travelled all around the world ……  He has often performed with Phil Woods, who nicknamed Dizzy as The Sky King, because he spent so much of his times in air planes. 
 Phil first met Dizzy in 1956 when he joined his band for a Mid-East tour to Syria (Aleppo and Damascus) and Bayreuth, organized by the US State Departement, who saw, Dizzy as a kind of diplomat … Phil suggests in an article by Gene Lees “Waiting for Dizzy (1991): All the trouble spots, al the places that are now on fire, the State Department sent Dizzy. I think if they’d sent him one more time, he could have cooled it all out. (Quote Phil Woods: Gene Lees “Waiting for Dizzy) (1991). Phil remembers Dizzy during this first trip with him: When we were in the Mideast, he was out there playing with snake charmers.  .. he has an uncanny ability to memorize it or feel exactly what they’re doing, and then fitting it into the jazz mode, without prostituting either one of them.  He’s a rhythmic genius ( Gene Lees “Waiting for Dizzy") (1991)

Phil Woods "at the Porgy en Bess jazz café concert" (bron: PZC mei 1986)

Phil Woods, born in  Springfield (MA) November 1931, founded his Pals late 1940s which was recorded in 1947 and released on a Phililogy cd Bird’s Eyes – Last Unissued volume 7.  He was part of Dizzy’s Big Band and was a founder member of the Quincy Jones Big Band. He moved to Europe where he founded his European Rhythm Machine and returned to the States in the 1970s. 
He was a sought after instrumentalist and could be heard at numerous (European) festivals, like, in 1986, the Heineken Jazzfestival (Rotterdam)( September ) ….. and, of all places, the Scheldejazz Festival in Terneuzen (south western part of The Netherlands), May 1986. Although due to the US bombs on military-targets like the tents of Khadafy (his home) and the city of Tripoli (15th of April 1986) and the major accident occurred at a nuclear generating plant at Chernobyl (Ukraine) US citizens cancelled their trips to Europe, Phil Woods and his Quintet, the same line-up as on the Timeless ablum, joined the festival and its concert was reviewed in a local newspaper as a Concert van wereldklasse (= a world class concert)
Tom Harrell (photo copurtesy: Arnold Parre) (source: PZC 1984 )

De altsax- en klarinetsolo’s van Woods en het opzwepende trompetspel van trompettist Tom Harrell zorgden daarbij keer op keer voor een climax ( = The alto and clarinet solos by Woods and the great trumpet of Tom Harrell came time and again to a climax). The local news paper praised the audience of Porgy en Bess and the concentration of the musicians. Bassist Steven Gilmore stond af en toe zo in trance aan zijn bas te plukken, dat het leek of hij erbij in slaap viel en dat zijn instrument vanzelf gewoon verder speelde.(= Bassplayer Steven Gilmore fell into a tranch with his eyes closed ….. which almost suggested that his instrument continued, while Steven had a little nap). En ook het gedrag van trompettist Harrel was opmerkelijk. Het ene moment speelde hij met een ongelooflijke dynamiek de sterren van de hemel en het andere moment stond hij verlegen met gesloten ogen achteraan op het podium (= And Tom Harrell attracted the attention, being active and lively when he played his trumpet and the other moment shy and introverted, inward-looking at the back of the stage.). It is clear that the journalist of the PZC, the local news paper was  ignorant of Harrel’s mental problems ….

Tom Harrell in Porgy en Bess ( April 2011) (photo courtesy: Hans Koert)

For me, when I listen to this great album, I remember Phil Woods, as I heard him playing in concert as a guest at Bud Shank's Quartet at the 2004 North Sea Jazz Festival in The Hague and I try to imagine how the 1986 Porgy en Bess concert must have sounded – What’s the reason I missed it?
Mind that this Dizzy Gillespie meets Phil Woods Quintet ( TJL-74513) is a re-issue of a previous lp-album with the same name released in 1987 by Timeless (SJP 250)

This album can be ordered at the Timeless or Challenge wensites.  

MY JAZZ LINKS: Dizzy Gillespie - Phil Woods - Tom Harrell

Hans Koert
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Last year Timeless reissued the classical Dizzy Gillespie meets Phil Woods Quintet recordings on its Timeless Jazz Legacy series  Dizzy Gillespie was, December 1986, the crowd puller for the Phil Woods Quintet concerts, fauturing Dizzy as special guest ... a group with skilled jazz musicians like trumpetist Tom Harrell, pianist Hal Galper, bass player Steve Gilmore and drummer Bill Goodwin. With the same line-up Phil Woods performed at the 1986 Heinekens festival and Scheldejazz in Porgy en Bess Jazz club(Terneuzen)(The Netherlands), a concert which was labeled as "Wereldklasse".

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