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Grace Kelly/Phil Woods: The Man With the Hat

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Grace Kelly

A Boston-based prodigy on alto saxophone, Grace Kelly plays just fine with the best, holding her own and then some. In 2008 she teamed up with alto saxophonist Lee Konitz on GRACEfulLEE. Her current soulmate is Phil Woods, the legendary alto man who will celebrate his 80th birthday in November of this year. They make beautiful music together, starting with the jaunty title track, in which Kelly’s and Woods’ solos bracket Monty Alexander’s swinging piano.

It’s hard to tell where one saxophone ends and the other begins-not surprising considering the way this CD’s blend goes beyond their intertwining: Kelly’s bassist Evan Gregor, whose arco solo sets her plaintive take on “Every Time We Say Goodbye” into high relief, and veteran Woods drummer Bill Goodwin round out the quintet, seamlessly crossing generations in this expert mainstream album.

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