RIP Phil Woods (1931-2015)

Sad to learn this evening of the death of alto saxophonist Phil Woods, officially confirmed HERE. He was a four-time Grammy winner, a NEA Jazz master in 2007, carrier of the bebop flame, he leaves behind a mass of educational material in digital form, and one of many indelible marks as a player on Billy Joel's Just the Way You Are in 1977 . RIP


  1. I guess this is not unexpected, but this is a sad day. What a player, what a career. His 'Live from the Showboat' album has a permanent place in my playlists - the snappy arrangement of Cheek to Cheek an is all-time favourite. And he played everything from out-and-out bop to grooving with Ben Sidran to Billy Joel. RIP Phil.

  2. Phil Woods one of the great bebop alto players. But he was also capable of so much more. The European Rhythm Machine quartet he had in the 1970s with Gordon Beck, Ron Matthewson or Henri Texier and Daniel Humair was contemporary jazz at its best, stretching the boundaries without losing rhythmic drive or melodic sense. His later albums were beautifully recorded examples of the great American songbook repertoire recreated with style and swing. Woods was one of jazz's great improvisers, never short of things to say musically and just about everything he said was interesting. RIP great musician.