Flip Phillips, who angered some critics early on because he gained riotous applause for his exciting solos during Jazz at the Philharmonic concerts, for over 50 years was an excellent tenor saxophonist equally gifted on stomps, ballads, and standards.
Born Joseph Edward Filippelli in New York City, on February 26, 1915, Phillips played clarinet regularly in a Brooklyn restaurant during 1934-1939, was in Frankie Newton's group (1940-1941), and spent time in the bands of Benny Goodman, Wingy Manone, and Red Norvo. However, it was in 1944 that he had his breakthrough. As a well-featured soloist with Woody Herman's Herd (1944-1946), Phillips became a big star. His warm tenor was most influenced by Ben Webster but sounded distinctive even at that early stage.
He toured regularly with Jazz at the Philharmonic during 1946-1957, scoring a bit of a sensation with his honking solo on "Perdido"...