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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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Meets Phil Woods Quintet

Timeless CD SJP 250



1. Oon-ga-wa
2. Loose Change
3. Whasidishean
4. Round Midnight
5. Love for Sale
6. Terrestris

Dizzy Gillespie - Trumpet
Phil Woods - Alto sax
Tom Harrell - Trumpet, flugelhorn
Hal Galper - Piano
Steve Gilmore - Bass
Bill Goodwin - Drums


Dizzy Gillespie and Phil Woods go back a long way. Phil worked with Dizzy's big band on tour in the mid-1950s, and it seems natural for someone like Woods - a disciple of Charlie Parker - to play with Gillespie, who was Parker's closest associate from the bebop years. They certainly sound at ease in one another's company.

This is a reissue of a 1986 session recorded in Holland by Dizzy with Phil's quintet, when the latter was on a European tour. One problem with the session is that it included two trumpeters who are sometimes difficult to tell apart (and the sleeve-note is no help). Nonetheless, you may feel you can recognise Gillespie's sound, which had mellowed considerably since his big-band days. Perhaps Dizzy couldn't any longer manage those stratospheric solos that he once played, but in a way it's a relief to hear him in gentler mood. And the two trumpeters work amicably together on such tracks as Dizzy's composition Whasidishean, where Gillespie and Tom Harrell provide rich harmonic backing for Phil Woods' soaring solo.

In fact Woods may be regarded as the star of this recording, although Dizzy comes into his own on Round Midnight, where his tender, eloquent muted trumpet follows solos from Phil's alto sax and Tom's flugelhorn. Phil Woods had assimilated Charlie Parker's innovations and moved on from them - just as Cannonball Adderley did. Woods takes the lion's share of the solos on this CD and displays not only his faultless technique but his ability to mould solos which both speak and swing.

The opening Oon-ga-wa is another Gillespie invention, with a floating Latin beat which buoys up the solos from Dizzy, Phil and Tom. Pianist Hal Galper wrote Loose Change, which is a lively beboppish number. There is a good piano solo from Hal on Love for Sale, which also features the two trumpeters in unaccompanied rapture, which hots up further when the rhythm section joins in, with Bill Goodwin's drums kicking things along superbly.

The album ends as it began - with a Latin-American flavour - from Tom Harrell's Terrestris. Phil Woods' serpentine solo is followed by a typically saucy outing from Dizzy. With only about 50 minutes of music, this album is hardly an essential buy but it nevertheless makes very pleasing listening.

Tony Augarde

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