Personnel: Phil Woods (alto saxophone); Sahib Shihab (baritone saxophone); Benny Bailey (trumpet); Curtis Fuller, Willie Dennis (trombone); Julius Watkins (French horn); Tommy Flanagan (piano); Buddy Catlett (bass); Osie Johnson, Granville Roker (drums).
Includes liner notes by Nat Hentoff and Phil Woods.
This Candid recording is such a major success that it is surprising that altoist Phil Woods has rarely recorded in this context. The all-star octet not only features the altoist/leader but trumpeter Benny Bailey, trombonist Curtis Fuller, baritone saxophonist Sahib Shihab, the innovative French horn player Julius Watkins (a major factor in this music), pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Buddy Catlett, and drummer Osie Johnson. This set (reissued by Black Lion on CD) consists entirely of Woods' five-part "Rights of Swing" suite, which clocks in around 38 minutes. The colorful arrangements use the distinctive horns in inventive fashion and the music (which leaves room for many concise solos) holds one's interest throughout. One of Phil Woods' finest recordings, it's a true gem. ~ Scott Yanow