Re: Fw: Letter from Phil Woods
- I love it when the old guys get all wound up.
You've heard Phil if you've heard the sax solo on Billy Joel's "Just
the Way You Are" - that solo is representative of Phil's work, but is
not the best solo he's ever played, by a long shot.
I happened to agree with Phil and I got a dose of what he is talking
about last night, up close and personal, when I saw Perry Robinson play
clarinet last night. The best players on stage were all collecting
Social Security: Akbar DePriest, who is 74, played some very soulful
drums, and Mahaffay had a great night sitting in. Marc Smason,
Seattle's best trombone player, has got to be pushing 50, and he was the
If we're not going to honor the experts, we're just blowing it, that's
all. - S.
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Hi guys-I have posted this on my web site - www.philwoods.com
Hello Jazz lovers, wherever you are!
I continue to be a fly on the windshield of the jazz industry. (HA!)
I presume you know that Bud Shank was fired from his post as founder
and guiding light of the Bud Shank Workshop in Port Townsend, WA. He has
been the 'man' there for 25 plus years, assembling one of the best
teaching ensembles ever! But now they want a younger man with young
ideas! Outsourcing the wrong guy folks! It only takes forever to learn
this music thing and even longer to come to terms with this jazz thing.
And they want a younger guy. Any damn fool can play when they are 20, or
30, 0r 40, 50, 60. But try cutting the mustard when you are in your late
70's! Now anyone that can do that has acquired knowledge that no
younger person can ever hope to learn.
The jazz existence, or any existence is not about getting somewhere -
it is all about the voyage. No one can ever master life, only experience
it and contribute something to making the world a better place to be an
artist. ARTIST is the key word.
If you want to be a practical musician, great. Get some gigs and have a
good life. But if you want to be a jazz musician, the requirements are
more stringent. An awareness of world culture is a good place to start!
Learn something about food and wine, learn a language, read a book,
paint a painting, see an O'Neal play, stare at a sunset. Write a Rondo
for heaven's sake - be somebody. And no matter how long you do it you
will barely touch the surface of this passion called life, the jazz
You have to be a warrior - Bud Shank is a warrior! A tough one who has
survived. What he has to teach is incalculable to measure. And they want
a younger guy. How about Norah Jones to teach jazz singing? Yeah!
Bud and I have been doing many gigs together, Toronto festival, North
Sea and others. We broached Concord records to try and secure a one shot
record deal for Yoshi's in November. They said that instrumental music
doesn't sell anymore! Imagine! A company founded on instrumental music,
great music, decides that it doesn't sell anymore.
I am mad as hell and will continue to rant and rave about these things
until my last breath. Culture in America is going to hell in a hand
basket. (I love that saw - don't know what it means but love it still.)
Keep the song alive. Until next time stay well. And thank you for being
a part of my thing!