The great Phil Woods has passed.

The great Phil Woods died two days ago of complications from emphysema; a sad day for music, jazz in particular and the saxophone world. He was one of the greatest saxophonists to ever live and was much more than a jazz player. He was that rare improviser who could really sound at home playing in any style or genre; as well as being a classically trained clarinetist, composer and orchestrator. Sometimes referred to as "the new Bird" he brought Charlie Parker's bebop style into a more modern era and was revered by his peers as well as jazz buffs. A truly great loss.

Early Phil:

More recent Phil:

Many pop music fans have heard his genius without realizing it:

For a more personal and fascinating peek into the man's personality and life as a musician and jazz player:

He announced his retirement from performing less than a month ago at a performance/recreation of the classic "Charlie Parker Plays Bird With Strings" sessions. That night he announced that it would be his last performance. Incredible.
Hope he's up there jamming with Coleman Hawkins and they are still playing when/if I get there.
Another jazz master has left us.I've enjoyed his playing and music for many years. My sympathy is extended to his family.
He lived and played often in my area (Stroudsburg PA just outside Delaware Water Gap, home of the Deerhead Inn) ... he also was one of the founders of the Celebration of the Arts (COTA) Jazz Fest in the Poconos. He will be missed.

He was one of the great ones, and he will be missed.

As hard as I've tried, I still can not make the transition from old to new; his version of "Stolen Moments" is "old school" and I could listen to it all night long, going deeper and deeper into the beauty of the tune exactly as Mr. Woods is doing.

I noticed how Mr. Woods changed his style just a bit to get into the ebb and flow of Michell Legrand, and stay within the soul of the tune; that's the mark of a master musician.

Billy Joel "The Stranger", has been one of my favorite tunes from the day it came out, and today was my first discovery that beautiful sax solo was Phil Woods; such an unbelievable oversight is not uncommon with me, I just listen to the music without bothering to read who's playing it. From now on, when I play that tune, I'll drink a toast to Mr. Phil Woods.

Thank you so much Frogman for sharing some of your many memories of Mr. Phil Woods, and his music.
In spite of his "saltiness" he was a very humble individual when
it came to music matters. There is a great moment (@ 30:00) in the last
video I posted of his master class/performance to a group of young
musicians that I find particularly revealing of that humility. He is talking
about playing on pop recordings as a studio musician (the Billy Joel among
others) and he talks about how he chose which ones to accept to play on.
He doesn't say 'Well, I didn't accept some because I thought the music
sucked' . Instead, he says 'I didn't accept some because "I didn't
think I could contribute anything" ' . Right after that anecdote he talks
about being married to Chan, Charlie Parker's widow and an encounter
with Charles Mingus; priceless.
One of my all time favorite musicians. I am playing lots of Phil's music today.
RIP Mr. Woods.