Academic journal article Notes

Herbie Mann/Phil Woods

Academic journal article Notes

Herbie Mann/Phil Woods

Article excerpt

Herbie Mann/Phil Woods. Beyond Brooklyn. Manchester Craftsmen's Guild MCGJ1012, 2004.

One thing the world can always use is jazz that challenges the listener--that presents knotty harmonic problems, irregular rhythms and counterintuitive melodies, offering musical satisfaction primarily to those with the energy and education required to work through the music's complexity and contemplate its conceptual depths. Luckily, there is also an important place in the jazz world for music that is just plain fun and that offers musical satisfaction and enjoyment to just about anyone willing to lend an ear. Flutist Herbie Mann has, for better or worse, always specialized in music of the latter category, and has taken his share of lumps for doing so, especially when his projects lapsed into unapologetically commercial pop-crossover or easy-listening twaddle. Alto saxophonist Phil Woods, by contrast, has stayed quite consistently true to his bebop roots, and remains one of the most consistently enjoyable mainstream jazz musicians on the current scene. Woods and Mann first played together in 1951, when they led a regular jam session at a Brooklyn bar; recorded more than fifty years later, these sessions find the two exploring bebop, bossa nova, tango, and ballad compositions in a sturdy, straight-ahead style. …

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