Alto saxophone great Phil Woods calls time on a distinguished career

Four time Grammy Award-winning alto saxophonist Phil Woods has played his last ever concert. Woods, now 83, made the announcement in Pittsburg.

Four time Grammy Award-winning alto saxophonist Phil Woods has played his last ever concert. Woods, now 83, is suffering challenging health issues with emphysema and requires the use of oxygen. He made the announcement of his retirement whilst playing in Pittsburgh with a local trio.

Woods was known as the New Bird by those who compared his alto sound to Charlie Parker although he has had his own distinctive style since the 1950s with a mastery of the bop vocabulary. Ironically he married Parker’s widow Chan. He is best known to pop listeners as the saxophone soloist on Billy Joel’s ‘Just The Way You Are.'

In 2007 he was named as a Jazz Master by America’s National Endowment of the Arts, the highest honour bestowed on a jazz musician.

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