Friday, February 1, 2013

The Greg Abate Quintet, Featuring Phil Woods

Many years ago, Phil Woods, then a young man just beginning his long and fruitful career, teamed with fellow altoist Gene Quill for a number of sides. It was a lively affair. The interaction of the two altos was very dynamic and exciting. The sound of the two together was something to hear and remains so.

Altoist Greg Abate has done a present-day equivalent by inviting Phil to join him in a quintet setting. The album, self-titled (The Greg Abate Quintet) (Rhombus 7112), puts the two together with a first-rate straight-ahead grouping of Jessie Green on piano, bassist Evan Gregor, and the drum ace, long-time Woods associate Bill Goodwin.

It's some hard-hitting, bopping contemporaneousness going on here. Abate makes a strong showing both on alto and also soprano, bari and flute, Phil sounds great and they both sound beautiful together. The bandmates make sure that everything swings hard as called for and the blowing originals give the springboards needed for some impolite, exciting jazz.

Abate heads a great outing, sure to appeal to hard bopping fans out there. Try NOT to tap your toes too loudly if you have neighbors below your floor.

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