featuring Brian Lynch, Bill Mays, Steve Gilmore and Bill Goodwin
Upon his return to the United States from Europe in 1973, and after a brief stay in Los Angeles, PHIL WOODS moved back to the New York area and formed THE PHIL WOODS QUARTET. Two of the original members of that group, STEVE GILMORE and BILL GOODWIN, are still with him, more than thirty-five years later. BILL MAYS is the fifth piano player to pass through their ranks, following in the footsteps of MIKE MELILLO (1974-1981), HAL GALPER (1981-1990), JIM McNEELY (1990-1995) and BILL CHARLAP (1996-2008), a distinguished group indeed. Although briefly a Quintet in 1977-1978, due to the addition of HARRY LEAHEY on guitar, the group remained a Quartet until October 1982 when they were joined by TOM HARRELL on trumpet and flugelhorn. In May 1989, Tom resigned to form his own group and was replaced by HAL CROOK on trombone. BRIAN LYNCH replaced Crook in January 1992, continuing the tradition of great players in a great band. This is a REAL quintet in the best sense of the word...a "repertory" company...not merely a great alto player with a good backup group. Each player contributes uniquely to the whole. Each player has his own rich musical history. Each player can swing with sensitivity and force. The Quintet brings to it's fans both American standards and great jazz compositions as well as original material composed by the members of the group. They have toured clubs, colleges, festivals and concert halls in Europe, Japan and the United States, to increasing acclaim. They are three time (1977, 1983, 1984) Grammy winners with countless nominations. The 1987 National Association of Jazz Educators' Poll named the Quintet winners in the combo category and Phil Woods winner in the alto saxophone category. They were voted the number one acoustic group in the DOWN BEAT Readers Poll for 1985 and 1988-1991 as well as the International Critics' Poll in 1979, 1988-1989 and 1991-1992. The Jazz Times 1990 Critics Poll named them #1 Acoustic Combo (Established Artist). In 1990, the Quintet shared the #1 slot in Jazz Times' Readers' Poll with the Modern Jazz Quartet, and Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, illustrious company indeed. In 1991, the Quintet captured the #1 spot altogether. Woods personally has won the number one alto saxophone category in the DOWN BEAT Critics' Poll in the years from 1975-1979, 1981-1990, 1992, 1996-2001 and 2006, and the Readers' Poll from 1976-1997 (21 straight years) and 2000-2008. The Jazz Times Readers' Poll also voted him #1 Alto Saxophone from 1990 to 1995.
THE PHIL WOODS QUINTET plays in the tradition and speaks of how it was, and how good it still is. They are making a unique and invaluable contribution to the preservation and enrichment of the American music form called jazz. Their long-term commitment is documented on THE PHIL WOODS QUARTET/QUINTET 20TH ANNIVERSARY ALBUM on Mosaic.
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