Great Phil Woods Duo and Masterclass

Here’s a great video I found of Phil Woods playing alto saxophone in a duo setting for a masterclass.  His playing and comments afterwards are priceless.  He speaks very candidly and openly.  Phil is one of my favorite alto players and I’ve been a fan ever since I bought the album “Warm Woods” way back in high school.  His sound is what is classified as the standard “NY Meyer” type of sound. It’s a brighter type sound but it is nice and fat sounding which balances it out beautifully.  You can’t be an alto player without checking out some Phil Woods. Thanks to for posting these.  They also have more clips from this masterclass and visit if you check out their site here………Enjoy!

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Steve About Steve

Steve Neff has been playing and teaching saxophone and jazz improvisation around the New England area for the last 30 years. He is the author of many effective jazz improvisation methods as well as founding the popular jazz video lesson site


  1. Avatar Gerardo Avila says

    I have that masterclass DVD! as well as one called “A Life on E flat”, both are a “must have” videos for all sax players. I like Phil Woods’ sound very much. He uses a #5 tip opening on his Meyer mouthpiece, wich seems to close for me. I’ve been always tempted to buy some mouthpieces that size but, I’ve always play with .080 to .085 tip openings, so I don’t know. I think “If Phil Woods uses that kind of tip opening, there’s gotta be a reason”.

    I have a Meyer #7 and, in order to sound like Phil, I had to put a baffle (removable) made of platicine. Without it, it seems impossible to me to get that bright sound out of my horn.

  2. Avatar Mike Pierce says

    Thanks for posting this, Steve, really great to hear from a great master musician like Woods.


  3. Avatar Javi Schvindlerman says

    What a sound…! Thanks for posting. It almost make me ashamed of having left the alto sax for a fancy tenor.
    Hey, Gerardo, that baffle you are saying is on sale someplace or you’ve made it yourself?
    Have a great evening everybody!

  4. Avatar Gerardo Avila says

    Hi Javi

    I made it myself just to see what happends. It works OK although I don’t know for sure it is the right way to do so. I took a little amount of plasticine (the one that kids use to play or do some school work), and shaped it carefully just using my hands inside the mouthpiece.

    I can send you a picture if you like, just give me your email. If you know more about this kind of stuff, maybe I can get a good advise from you.

    Thanks for asking!

  5. Avatar Javi Schvindlerman says

    Hi Gerardo,

    Thanks for answering. Yeah, I would love to see a picture, since the only one I have seen is the one that comes with the Jody pieces, and I found the idea really interesting.
    My email is . By the way, where are you from? May I supose your name has some common factor with mine or am I just guessing?
    Anyway, thanks againg!
    Have a great day!

  6. Thank you for putting this up Steve & giving the link on SotW. Like you said, priceless. Another avenue to explore.

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