Five-time Grammy Award winner and NEA Jazz Master Phil Woods returns with the long-awaited follow-up to his 1997 Grammy nominated “Celebration” CD, “New Celebration.” The disc features many of the same players along with a number of other world-class musicians from Woods’ Poconos home region comprising the 18-piece Festival Orchestra. All but two of the compositions were specially written and arranged by Woods for this recording. His extraordinary writing creates an ideal setting for his solo virtuosity, as well as some excellent contributions by other members of the orchestra.
“Shadow Box” marks acclaimed guitarist Bob DeVos’ fifth release as a leader. His last two discs ranked high on the jazz charts and appeared on many Top Ten yearly lists. DeVos was an essential part of the Charles Earland Quintet with Eric Alexander and has played and/or recorded with other jazz legends like Stanley Turrentine, Sonny Stitt, David Newman, Hank Crawford and Jack McDuff. Joining DeVos on this hyper hip collection of originals and standards are tenor saxophone great Ralph Bowen, the harmonically sophisticated Dan Kostelnik on the Hammond B-3 and hard swinging Steve Johns on drums.
Also this week, tenor saxophonist Michael Pedicin, making the most of his late-career surge, reconfirms his status as a top-tier post-bopper with “Why Stop Now…Ubuntu”; pianist Tardo Hammer is accompanied by veteran bassist Lee Hudson and legendary drummer Jimmy Wormworth on “Simple Pleasure,” a live set recorded at Klavierhaus Recital Hall in New York City; and guitarist Will Bernard features an inspired cast of sidemen for his newest disc, “Just Like Downtown,” including versatile reedman John Ellis and the explosive drummer Rudy Royston.