The great composer and bandleader was distraught over the 1967 death of Billy Strayhorn, his songwriting and arranging partner of 28 years. But Ellington took Strayhorn’s passing as an impetus, born of necessity, to increase his own productivity. Here are five examples.
Saxophonist Phil Woods is a true master of all things bop. He’s been one of the top alto players since his debut in the mid-1950s, and he’s been called the musical heir to Charlie Parker. In this session from 2003, Woods joins host Marian McPartland, bassist Steve Gilmore and drummer Bill Goodwin in “How About You” and “Fine and Dandy.”