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October 2005

Bud Shank, Phil Woods
Bouncing with Bud & Phil: Live at Yoshi's
Capri Records

Bud Shank (79) and Phil Woods (74) have long been among the best of the followers of Charlie Parker, and their Bouncing With Bud and Phil, recorded live in late 2004 at Yoshi's in Oakland, Calif., proves that their fires are still burning brightly. Admittedly inspired by each other, both altoists are sharp as a tack as they play chorus after chorus of passionate, soulful bop, egged on by the magnificent rhythm section of pianist Mike Wofford, bassist Bob Magnusson and Bill Goodwin, Woods' cohort of 30 years, on drums.

In addition to such uptempo bop and hard-bop anthems as Bud Powell's "Bouncing With Bud" and Gigi Gryce's "Minority," they jointly work over two gorgeous ballads in George Cables' "Helen's Song" and Bill Mays' "Gemma's Eyes." And everyone shines on Shank's Latin number, "Carousels." But the saxophonists' tours de force may be their individual features, Shank's impassioned romp on "Nature Boy" and Woods' simple, reverential reading of Benny Carter's "Summer Serenade." As a third primary soloist, Wofford demonstrates through technical mastery and expansive invention why he's one of Shank's (and many others') favorite pianists.

Originally published in October 2005
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