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Three Improvisations

Three Improvisations composed by Phil Woods. Saxophone Quartet. For Saxophone Quartet (SATB). Grade 5. Full Score and Set of Parts. Published by Advance Music (AV.7662).

Composer-revised and newly typeset 2001 edition, originally published by Kendor Music. Phil Woods Born in Springfield, Massachusetts - November 2, 1931. Phil began saxophone lessons at age 12 with Harvey LaRose in Springfield. After graduation from high school at age 16, he went to New York City and spent one summer at Manhatten School of Music and four years at Juilliard Conservatory. "My first influences were Benny Carter, Johnny Hodges and Charlie Parker." In the '50s and '60s he performed with his own working bands, some co-led by altoist Gene Quill. In the mid-1950s, Quincy Jones hired Phil to play lead alto in the big band that Dizzy Gillespie took to the Middle East for the State Department and in 1959, Quincy himself would hire Woods in the same capacity for the musical show FREE AND EASY, which folded in Europe. The band stayed on to tour there for one year. The list of musicians with whom Phil Woods has performed and/ or recorded reads like a Who's Who of Jazz: Benny Goodman, Benny Carter, Clark Terry (with whom he founded the "Big Bad Band" with Clark and Melba Liston), Bill Evans, Michel Legrand, Oliver Nelson, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, and Charlie Barnet are just a few of those stars. In 1968, Phil went to live in Europe where he formed the European Rhythm Machine. Together they played all over the world until 1973 when Woods returned to the United States. After a brief stay in Los Angeles, Phil moved back to the New York area and formed The Phil Woods Quartet (now Quintet). Philip Wells Woods is a consistent poll winner, the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Letters Degree from East Stroudsburg University and a 1994 inductee into The American Jazz Hall of Fame.

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  • Ratings + Reviews

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    Based on 2 Reviews

  • 5

    Austin, TX
    Difficulty Level:
  • August 02, 2008 One of The Best

    The first movement is headed 'Presto'. It has some improv sections for the tenor and alto or soprano. It acts as an intro to the other 2 movements, with many of the ideas reappearing for most of the remainder of the piece. This is followed by a slow, meditative movement...

    featuring the alto and baritone saxophones. The baritone solo is almost entirely in the upper range of the instrument. The final movement is very fast with many meter changes. Towards the end of the movement, there is a fiercely atonal section that seems to allude to the saxophone quartet written by another composer Lukas Foss. It ends with a cadenza originally heard in the 1st movement by the alto while the others hold until the alto lands on the final note, where the rest of the ensemble resolves. The Zagreb Saxaphone Quartet has a pretty good recording of the 1st movement on their website and the Harvey Pittel Saxophone Quartet has probably the best recordings of the 2nd and 3rd movements.

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    14 of 34 people found this review helpful.
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  • 5

    Austin, TX
    Difficulty Level:
  • July 08, 2008 Amazing Piece

    This piece is by far the best advanced ensemble I've ever seen or heard. I 1st heard the 2nd and 3rd movements from a CD of the Harvey Pittel Saxophone Quartet (which is by far the best recording our there). All of the music is very free form. There...

    are lots of tempo, style, and meter changes and has no definite key signature in many places. It incorporates some improv sections and is really an intro to the next 2. The 2nd is pretty slow. It has some really great parts all throughout. The highlight is a bari sax solo which is written mostly up in the highest notes in the normal range. It has a very creepy feel to it, but it is still very enjoyable. The 3rd is the fastest (based on note density). By far the most technical. All parts get complicated and very important parts all throughout. It ends with an awesome little cadenza for the alto. For an advanced ensemble with a lot of experience playing together, I 100% recommend this piece.

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    15 of 32 people found this review helpful.
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