eMusic Review 0
Alto saxophonist Phil Woods 'music isn't avant-garde so much as it's cognizant of the avant-garde. On this octet date, bandmates from the Quincy Jones Orchestra play his five-track suite, a sort of homage to Igor Stravinsky's classical ballet The Rite of Spring. It's an ambitious work from a man who seldom wrote for such a large group, and while hardly revelatory, it's assured and entertaining, with nary a dull moment. Woods 'own solos are unselfconsciously fleet and enthusiastic, marking him as a Charlie Parker devotee while carving out a distinctly post-Bird path. Sahib Shihab (baritone) and Julius Watkins (French horn) are wonderful foils, and soloists and ensemble alike exit rousingly on "Part V, Presto."