CMJ - 7/30/01, p.25
"...A program of less than obvious bop tunes....straightahead thankfully doesn't mean straight."
JazzTimes - 5/02, p.143
"...Woods' latest effort exhibits the same mastery of the saxophone and the bebop language that characterized his playing in his prime. His technique remains flawless and the years have provided him with an even greater supply of musical ideas..."
Personnel: Phil Woods (alto saxophone); Roy Hargrove (flugelhorn); Bill Charlap (piano); Peter Washington (bass); Willie Jones (drums).
Recorded live aborad the Queen Elizabeth 2 in October & November 2000. Includes liner notes by Benny Carter.
Personnel: Phil Woods (alto saxophone); Roy Hargrove (flugelhorn); Bill Charlap (piano); Willie Jones III (drums).
Audio Mixer: Jon Bates.
Liner Note Author: Benny Carter .
Recording information: Funchal, Madeira (10/28/2000-11/04/2000); Queen Elizabeth 2, Atlantic Ocean (10/28/2000-11/04/2000).
Photographer: Rollo Phlecks.
The Chiraroscuro label has mined a lot of gold from the sea: the superb music made at the Floating Jazz Festivals on the S.S. Norway and Queen Elizabeth II over the years. Recorded live and lovingly, these CDs feature top musicians playing under-relaxed vacation conditions, and this one, recorded on the Queen in the fall of 2000, is another gleaming gem: the first to feature legendary bop altoist Phil Woods as leader. He's joined by the sparkling Bill Charlap Trio and consummate trumpeter Roy Hargrove (on two tracks) for a long, swinging, straight-ahead set, full of feeling and mutual inspiration. Woods is smooth, strong, and absolutely assured; he's so expressive, he's nearly verbal. He's already recorded three albums with the gifted and lyrical Charlap, and their mutual ease and admiration are audible. The material is consistently interesting, including the burning opener "Beautiful Friendship," the churning title track, the nearly 14-minute pageant of cool creativity on "Hey There," and a pair of beautiful Alec Wilder tunes: "I'll Be Around" and "Trouble Is a Man," featuring an exquisite solo by Charlap. Roy Hargrove takes the soulful lead on a luscious "These Foolish Things," with Woods supplying rueful commentary behind him; on "Philly's Twist the two rock the boat with their swinging, wailing trades. Bassist Peter Washington is particularly thoughtful on the closer, "I'll See You Again," done as a tender waltz, and drummer Willie Jones III is exactly right throughout. An ideal showcase for Woods' undiminished soul, technical fluency, and wit, this CD is highly recommended. ~ Judith Schlesinger