The culmination of forty years of work by acknowledged jazz master Phil Woods, offering original musical settings for A.A. Milne's beloved poems from "Now We Are Six". Scored for fourteen pieces and two vocalists (Bob Dorough and Vicki Doney) with narration by actor Peter Dennis.
Phil Woods - Conductor, Alto Saxophone
Vicki Doney - Vocals
Bob Dorough - Vocals, Keyboards
Peter Dennis - Narrator
Nelson Hill - Alto Sax, Flute
Tom Hamilton - Tenor Sax, Clarinet
Roger Rosenberg - Baritone Sax, Bass Clarinet
Ken Brader III - Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Robert Routch - French Horn
Rick Chamberlain - Trombone
Eric Doney - Piano
Mark Williams - Guitar
Steve Gilmore - Bass
Bill Goodwin - Drums
Paul Peabody - Violin
Joanna Farrer - Violin
Juliet Haffner - Viola
Mary Wooten - Cello
NEA Jazz Master Phil Woods provides the jazz world with a groundbreaking merger of the poetry of A.A. Milne with modern jazz compositions and arrangements
Phil Woods is joined by jazz vocal great Bob Dorough and English actor Peter Dennis- the only person authorized by the A.A. Milne estate to recite Milne's poetry
"The Children's Suite" is a magical journey of music and poetry that appeals to listeners of all ages
For all of the confidence and forcefulness in Phil Woods' playing, his improvisations have always had an element of surprise and discovery. When he catches himself in a creative fillip of the kind the poet Richard Wilbur called "the very happiest intellection," Woods' delight is apparent to his listeners. It is one of the great rewards of hearing him. Little wonder, then, that his first meeting with the works of A.A. Milne stimulated his muse.
Peter Dennis serves as the narrator, delivering his incomparable readings from the Milne texts. Vicki Doney, who sang with 100 pianos at the opening ceremony of the 1984 Olympics, is as intimate and subtle singing Christopher Robin's words as she was expansive doing Gershwin in the Los Angeles Coliseum. Her husband Eric, one of the Olympics pianists, heads the rhythm section with Phil's longtime colleagues bassist Steve Gilmore and drummer Bill Goodwin. Bob Dorough interprets Milne's lyrics and sings Phil's melodies with the same infectiousness and musicianship he has given generations of jazz fans and the millions of youngsters who grew up watching Multiplication Rock. Soaring over the band, interacting with his musicians and cast, playing at the top of his game, Phil finally brings his creation fully to life.