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Phil Woods: A Life in E Flat

Filmed in 2004, this 64-minute documentary, while worthwhile, is hardly a biography. It consists of a day in the studio (recording the CD This Is How I Feel About Quincy), interspersed with brief interview excerpts. (A bonus feature is an additional 22 minutes of interview clips.)

There are huge gaps in Woods’ life story, and at times he refers to things that he must have discussed in the unused footage. For example, in one scene “Lennie” appears to refer to Tristano. A cherry pie mentioned elsewhere is explained only in one of the bonus interview clips. The studio footage focuses largely on several takes of a ballad, “The Quintessence,” which is also used as a theme between scenes. Brian Lynch and Bill Charlap play beautifully–as, of course, does Woods.

Originally Published