on 11 December 2012
Phillips was one of those big-toned jazz tenor sax players who fell on the Coleman Hawkins side of the divide, while musicians of the calibre of Zoot Sims, who followed Phillips into the ranks of the Woody Herman band in the 1940s, fell ostensibly on the Lester Young side. Such determinism only serves the purpose of placing Phillips, however, for rather like Don Byas he was a man who knew his own mind and `spoke' it through his instrument of choice.
This set -at a bargain price too- offers listeners the chance to own a percentage of Phillips's output from the last year of the 1940s through to the second year of the following decade. It encapsulates the fact that Phillips was one of the most persuasive swing-through-bop players of his generation, and just to underline the point he keeps the musical company of players ranging from the devout bopper Sonny Criss to Harry `Sweets' Edison, scion of the swing machine (in the best sense) that was the Count Basie orchestra, and Frank Sinatra's trumpeter of choice.
Coleman Hawkins gave "Cheek to Cheek" a good seeing to and Phillips does the same on the second track from what was the aptly-named FLIP WAILS album, while Jo Jones shows why he's valued so highly in the history of jazz drumming.
"Lazy River" is an example of the unlikely turned into a worthwhile vehicle for jazz, and on it Phillips highlights the fact that he was a persuasive player at slower tempos; he's featured all the way, but it's pointless ruing the fact that his fellows get no chance to shine, especially when Sonny Criss gets to do some incendiary stuff on "Swinging For Julie & Brownie"
In overall terms this is another one of those Avid label sets which is a little exercise in reclamation. Without the likes of such concerns this stuff would probably have fallen by the wayside, so anyone with a passion for jazz's many byways should be brandishing the plastic with intent.
This compilation begins with "Flip" - a Verve LP of four tracks recorded in late 1947 and eight during 1949. The statement "featuring Howard McGhee and Benny Green" relates to the 1947 session for McGhee, and the two tracks from the August 1949 session for Bennie Green (which feature Billy Butterfield also). The FP - Buddy Rich Trio album was a composite of two sessions; the early 1950 session was actually a Quartet, which comprised Flip, Buddy Rich, Hank Jones and Ray Brown, and features on the first CD. "Flip Wails" is a compilation of three sessions, the one constant being Bill Harris on trombone. The March 1951 session included Dick Hyman and Jo Jones, and is followed by the July 1950 session, with a septet which included Harry Edison and Buddy Rich, and two of the three numbers conclude the first CD.
The album winds up on the second CD with a session from August 1951, and is followed by "Swinging with Flip", another composite album, this time of four sessions recorded in 1952. It begins with the June session, which featured Charlie Shavers, Oscar Peterson, Barney Kessel, Ray Brown & Alvin Stoller, continues with the March session, which included Al Porcino, Bill Harris, Freddie Green & Max Roach, then takes in a February septet session. It concludes with one track recorded by the Flip Phillips - Buddy Rich Trio in December, which leads in neatly to the B side of that album.
This is a fascinating compendium of Flip Phillips late forties/early fifties recordings, and showcases his distinctive warm-toned approach in a variety of settings, and across a wide range of material, from smooth ballads to swingers.
on 20 January 2013
This 2 CD album is a great buy. For anyone who, like me, remembers the honking exhibitionist performances from the 50s with JATP this compilation will come as a revelation. With a wealth of material from a number of line ups at different dates the recordings are good quality and Phillips is evident throughout as a sensitive, assured and accomplished soloist. He is accompanied by a number of top notch front liners in the various settings and the rhythm sections in particular are excellent as one would expect from such luminaries as Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, Max Roach, and Buddy Rich, to name but a few. strongly recommended !!
Flippin' 'eck, this is good stuff!
I had barely heard of Flip when I first came across this collection of four choice, varied albums by the tenor sax player, who was a star in his day, and winner of many jazz polls.
Where does one start? Let's begin by reeling off a list of just some of the fine musicians on these tracks: Howard McGhee, Oscar Peterson, Harry 'Sweets' Edison,
Benny Green, Bill Harris, Hank Jones, Shelley Manne, Richard Wyands, Ray Brown, Jo Jones, Max Roach, Kai Winding, Barney Kessel, Jerome Richardson, Freddie Green, and a storming (though slightly muddy in the mix) Buddy Rich on a date consisting of twelve tracks divided over these two discs.
This is quite simply damn good jazz, with many superb solos from several of the above diverse players including, naturally, plenty of Flip himself. And what a very fine musician he was. No fuss, no straining for effect, just nourishing, down the line swinging jazz.
These forty-nine tracks - all of them fairly short, all dating from 1947-52 - have been remastered well, and the solos especially shine through in all their glory.
There are a number of Flip's originals - listen to the unusual, uncanny Sojoro for a taster - alongside standards such as My Old Flame, Lazy River, This Can't Be Love, But Beautiful (which is just that), Dream a Little Dream of Me (never heard it jazzed up before), Cheek To Cheek, Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams, and Billy Strayhorn's immortal Take The A Train - and even Singing In The Rain, among many others.
A real highlight is a sultry, langorous take on the lovely Gordon Jenkins song Goodbye (hear Sinatra for the best vocal version) on which Flip manages to remind you of just about every other sax player you've ever heard, from Hawkins & Webster to Trane & Lovano. This is from a relaxed and rewarding '52 LP Swinging With Flip, featuring various mouth-watering line-ups.
What you can't help but hear on these numbers is the bags of atmosphere they exude, an energy and bounce that only musicians having a good time tend to bring to the table.
I shall be playing this wonderful anthology of Joseph 'Flip` Phillips often, and always with a sense of enormous pleasure that only the best jazz brings.
A very happy discovery.
on 28 July 2013
Excellent small band albums from Woody herman's tenor man in the great First Herd o the 40's,thesxde sides are from 1949,1950 and 1952,the Verve Catalogue,,with various fine musicians,including trombonist bill Harris from his First Herd days,te album with the Buddy Rich Trio is much superior to a live session I had,where Buddy overwhelmed Flip.
This is a good buy...