Phil Woods on composing

Now, A Jazz Moment...

MUSIC: "Hal Mallet" (Phil Woods composition) CD: Into the Woods, Concord Jazz CCD-4699 (cut 2)

2007 NEA Jazz Master Phil Woods can spend hours in a day -- or night -- perched in his woodland home in rural Pennsylvania composing music. His method?

Phil Woods: I write up here in my head usually. Sometimes it's an idea from the saxophone and then I will go to the piano and do a sketch. And when I have some idea of where the piece is going, or at least a start, then I go to the computer and finish it. I can hear it instantly; I can check all the right notes, the wrong notes; I can try all sorts of different things.

MUSIC: up and fades

You see the hardest part about art are the options you have.

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

Phil Woods on composing