Over a long career, he played on many albums, retired to Florida for fifteen years, came back to music, and recorded a CD for Verve Records when he was in his 80s. Phillips performed in a variety of genres, not just jazz. These include bebop, mainstream jazz, swing music, jump blues and East Coast blues.
In the mid-40s, Phillips was one of the anchors of the Woody Herman band, prior to going out on his own and prior to joining JATP. He also played with the Woodchoppers, a small spin-off group that Herman led. His deep, strong and articulate playing with a very full sound contrasted him to his successors such as Stan Getz in the subsequent Herman bands.
His orchestra, which recorded for Verve in 1949, included Buddy Morrow, Tommy Turk, Kai Winding, Sonny Criss, Ray Brown and Shelly Manne. Phillips was a frequent player at the Odessa Jazz Party in Odessa, Texas. In 1958 he played some solos with Billie Holiday (Album “Last Recording”).
Edited by RITCHIENEILLsFM on 7 May 2010, 01:35
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