Meet Phil Woods, young lion. When the first of these two sessions was released as a Jimmy Raney 10-inch LP in 1954, Woods was a promising but unknown Juilliard graduate. Raney gave the young altoist a chance to display his intense solo conception as well as his compositional talents (the ballad "Joanne" and the variant on Fats Waller’s "Black and Blue" called "Back and Blow"), and as a result Woods was quickly signed to his own Prestige contract. The second date, led by pianist Dick Hyman, is a 1959 verification that bebop lives, with trumpeter Howard McGhee completing the front line and Charlie Parker’s old rhythm team of Teddy Kotick and Roy Haynes stoking the beat. An underrated expatriate when these tracks were collected at the end of the Sixties, Woods has assumed his proper place in the jazz pantheon a half-century later by maintaining the passion and invention heard on these formative recordings.
with John Wilson, Jimmy Raney, Bill Crow, Joe Morello, Howard McGhee, Dick Hyman, Teddy Kotick, Roy Haynes