Phil Woods Grace Kelly 2011 Pittsfield CityJazz Festival

The headline concert of the 7th Pittsfield CityJazz Festival was a reunion of sax players Grace Kelly and Phil Woods. Here are excerpts and links to reviews of the Oct. 15, 2011 concert at tThe Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA.

By: Charles Giuliano – 10/16/2011 – It was five years ago to the day when the 75-year-old NEA Jazz Master, alto player Phil Woods, first performed on stage at the Colonial Theatre with the then 14-year-old alto prodigy, Grace Kelly.
That was year two of the annual Pittsfield City Jazz Festival organized by the resourceful, dedicated, and titubating Ed Bride.
The two musicians had met a month before jamming on stage in Pittsfield. That event has become a part of jazz history.
Woods is known as The Man with a Hat. That evening he was so blown away by the teenager’s chops that he literally passed, not a torch, but the hat itself. It was the highest and most personal honor that an artist of one generation might bestow on another. The more remarkable as it spanned not one but two generations. Continue reading: Berkshire Fine Arts.

By Richard Houdek, Special to the Eagle – The veteran and the wunderkind enjoyed a happy reunion as one of the highlights of the seventh annual Pittsfield CityJazz Festival Saturday evening at the Colonial Theatre.

Actually, Phil Woods, the NEA jazz master, and Grace Kelly, his favorite protégé, have made an album and been frequent stage companions since he invited her and her saxophone up to the festival stage at the Colonial in 2006, to join him and his sax.

The two, who appear supremely in sync, offered an engaging nine-minute reprise of their initial collaboration, “I’ll Remember April,” often transferring solo duties mid-phrase.

Among the compositions by Kelly was her powerful and thoughtful tribute to Woods, the title tune from their album, “Man with the Hat,” ably assisted by the members of her trio, Doug Johnson, a fine pianist; Evan Cooper, her versatile bassist, and Bill Goodwin, a most talented drummer. Continue reading: Berkshire Eagle.

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