Phil Woods on being kidnapped by Dizzy

Now, A Jazz Moment...

MUSIC: "Dizzy's Business" CD: Birks Works, Verve 314 527 900-2 (cut 1)

IN 1956, 2007 NEA Jazz Master Phil Woods took a seat in the renowned Dizzy Gillespie big band. It was the beginning of a long friendship, with Gillespie acting the mentor in matters of both life and jazz, for years to come.

Phil Woods: I mean one time he actually kidnapped me. I was in Birdland and he and Art Blakey were there. And I'm crying the blues and they threw me in a cab and took me out to Dizzy's pad in Corona, Long Island. And said, "Now, what's your problem?" I said, "Well, you know, how am I gonna be a jazz musician? I'm a white guy." And Dizzy said, "Oop, time out!" He says, "Hey Woods, Charlie Parker did not play this music for black people. He played it for everybody in the world. It was his gift. And you can't steal a gift. And if you can hear it, you can have it. But get your act together." You know what I mean? That's, whoa. I listened.

MUSIC: (Phil's solo) up and fades

This Jazz Moment with saxophonist and clarinetist Phil Woods was created by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Phil Woods on being kidnapped by Dizzy