FEATURING AND PAYING TRIBUTE TO LEGEND, PHIL WOODS
With more than a half-century of experience in the jazz world, it would be safe to consider Phil Woods not only one of the music’s living legends but a true aficionado of his fellow instrumentalists. So it speaks volumes that the first time he shared the stage with a then-14-year-old Grace Kelly, he was moved to remove his iconic leather cap and place it on her head – the first time he’d ever made such a gesture to a fellow alto saxophonist.
“I’d never dreamed that I would have this relationship with him or that I’d even meet him,” says Kelly, reminiscing about that experience. “I look at this hat that he’s worn on his album covers for the last fifty years and it’s really well worn, and now he has a brand new one. It’s really a special memory.”
Four years later, the 18-year saxophone prodigy returns the favor with a new CD featuring and in tribute to Woods, aptly titled Man With the Hat. A fresh take on the bebop legacy that Woods has espoused for his entire career, the album arrives just in time to inaugurate the alto great’s 80th birthday year and consists of seven standards and originals penned by both Kelly and Woods and performed by an all-star ensemble. Continue reading