SOLITUDE features 10 original compositions by Phil Woods in fresh, big band arrangements crafted by Woods, Jim McNeely, Thomas Matta, Kirk Garrison, and the DownBeat magazine award-winning DePaul University Jazz Ensemble. Phil is featured as soloist on each of the selections, with his long-time colleagues - pianist Jim McNeely, bassist Steve Gilmore and drummer Bill Goodwin - joining the DePaul band on three selections. These are brilliant, engaging contemporary big band studio performances that capture the nuances of Phil's solo work and the ensemble's energy and dynamic range.
Phil Woods, alto saxophone
Jim McNeely, piano (tracks2, 3, 10)
Steve Gilmore, bass (tracks2, 3, 10)
Bill Goodwin, drums (tracks2, 3, 10)
The DePaul University Jazz Ensemble
Phil Woods with the DePaul University Jazz Ensemble: Solitude
The DePaul University Jazz Ensemble and Phil Woods began their association with a series of performances at Joe and Wayne Segal's Jazz Showcase in May of 2004. The fruit of the weeklong engagement produced Woodlands; a "live" CD recording that
received widespread critical acclaim and popularity within the jazz community. Since that time Phil has performed with the band on several occasions, including many performances at area high schools, jazz festivals and a featured concert performance at the Midwest Clinic. In May of 2006 the DPUJE and Phil again presented a weeklong engagement at the Jazz Showcase, producing Swingchronicity (Jazzed Media), the follow-up "live" CD recording to Woodlands.
Phil has composed more than 200 instrumental pieces, arrangements, and songs, including many that he and the DePaul University Jazz Ensemble recorded for this project. Through a series of three visits to the DePaul campus in October of 2008, February and May of 2009, the studio CD recording SOLITUDE (Jazzed Media) was produced. The arrangements were created by Phil and others, including DePaul Jazz Studies faculty members Thomas Matta and Kirk Garrison; DePaul Jazz Ensemble members Joe Clark and Scott Dickinson; DePaul Jazz Ensemble alum Mike Pinto; and Jim McNeely, long-time guest of the DePaul Jazz Studies program and
a former pianist with Phil's quintet. In May, performances at the Jazz Showcase and a studio recording session involved the DePaul Jazz Ensemble with Phil and members of his Grammy Award winning rhythm section: bassist Steve Gilmore, drummer Bill Goodwin and pianist Jim McNeely.
The Jazz Ensemble is one of 14 student jazz groups at DePaul University, performing several times throughout the academic year both on and off campus. The band performs regularly throughout Chicago, including jazz venues such as the Jazz Showcase. Since Bob Lark's appointment as Director of Jazz Studies and director of the Jazz Ensemble, the band has appeared at the Midwest Clinic, the International Association for Jazz Education Conference, the Duke Ellington International Conference, the National Association of Music Merchants Conference, the Jazz Party At Sea aboard the S.S. Norwegian Sun, twice aboard the Queen Elizabeth II ocean liner for their Annual Floating Jazz Festival, the Chicago Jazz Festival, and a concert tour of Italy.
An annual recording project by the Jazz Ensemble featuring student, faculty, and commissioned works occurs each spring. These recordings have produced a number of awards from Down Beat and JazzTimes magazines, and the Jazz Educator's Journal. The Jazz Ensemble's newest release - SOLITUDE (Jazzed Media) - features the DePaul Jazz Ensemble with jazz saxophone icon Phil Woods. The group has recorded a number of CD's with legendary jazz artists, including Phil Woods, Clark Terry, Bob Brookmeyer, Jim McNeely, Tom Harrell, Louie Bellson, Slide Hampton, Frank Wess, Bobby Shew, and Mark Colby, as well as Chicago Symphony Orchestra members Charles Vernon and John Bruce Yeh.