Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Listening to Prestige Part 122 - Phil Woods

When I started this project, my goal was to listen to at least one cut from every Prestige album in chronological order. That went out the window pretty quickly when I realized that to do a proper chronology, I'd have to do it session by session, not album by album. And it really went out the window when I discovered that one cut was nowhere near enough. It might take a substantial chunk of time, but what better to do with my time than listen to jazz on Prestige? I was going to listen to every recording ever made for Bob Weinstock's label.

When possible. Some things I just haven't been able to find, and that would include most of this session. "Open Door" has been put up on YouTube, and that's it.

Still, every limitation has its compensations. In this case, instead of listening to four songs in rotation, I've focused on just the one, appreciating that if two guys were ever made to play together, it's Phil Woods and Jon Eardley. Of course, Phil Woods played with so many different musicians, and sounded great with all of them.

This was his first session as a leader, and maybe only his second recording session. I haven't found anything else besides the Jimmy Raney session just two months earlier. He was only 23 when he made these recordings.

George Syran seems only to have recorded on a handful of sessions with either Woods or Eardley, but his obituary (2005) offers this:
 Mr. Syrianoudis played with Billy May, Hal McIntyre, Jimmy Dorsey, Richard Maltby, Cannonball Adderley, Al Cohn, Phil Woods, Lester Lanin, Dick Meldonian, Hal Prince and many others.

 He was the personal accompanist for Buddy Greco, Don Rondo and Morgana King.

That's a pro's pro who can fit in anywhere, but he definitely knew how to play jazz. He has a strong solo here.

Nick Stabulas is a powerful presence throughout.

These were released on New Jazz, and the New Jazz releases seem in general to be less reissued and harder to find. "Pot Pie" and "Mad About the Girl" were also on a Prestige EP.

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