Your Place Or Mine
Best remembered for his stint on the Jazz at the Philharmonic tours with his barn-burning solos in the company of Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Charlie Parker and others, tenor saxophonist Flip Phillips had moved to south Florida after those days, playing locally but otherwise in semi-retirement. He got together with guitarist Dell Staton and would jammed for the fun of it at either's home. in 1963 they went to a recording studio for the kicks of it and this is one of the only two Flip made in the twenty years after leaving JATP. Staton in addition to his guitar, adds bass using a foot organ attachment.
From the opening moments of "Come Rain Or Shine," Phillips impresses with the warmth and rhapsodic quality of his playing whether on tenor sax or on bass clarinet (for example the tenderness heard on "Just Say I Loved Her"). Listening to "It's the Talk of the Town," the airy, breathy quality of his playing evokes the great Ben Webster, while Staton, who chords his simple accompaniment, shows a similar attention to tone in his solo interlude. Phillips returns to the bass clarinet for a lovely "Summertime," while against Staton's chording brings his romanticism to Django Reinhardt's "Nuages."
A nicely swinging "Jada" provides a change in pace from ballads that predominate here along with the driving "Scatterbrain," with some marvelous chording and single note guitar along with Phillips here. Then there is the bass clarinet on "Chloe," with some exquisite playing evocative of Webster and clarinetist Barney Bigard on this number that was also part of the Ellington repertoire. Brisk takes on "Jazz Me Blues" and "Gone With the Wind" (with Staton superb here) are among other performances on a marvelously, delightful recording.
I received my review copy from Delmark. This review originally appeared in the September-October Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 374). Here is Filp Phillips at his 80th Birthday Party.