CD Release Party at Birdland!

Thursday, October 20th – 6pm-7:30pm

Detroit Lean Cover

Detroit Lean

It is finally time to release my latest recording into the wild! Join me and the band at Birdland and check out what this stuff sounds like LIVE. Thanks to the generous support of the International Society of Bassists, I will have Scott LaFaro’s bass with me for the concert (I used it on the record too).

Also just like the record, I’ll have Matthew Fries, Keith Hall, and Tony Romano with me. You can buy tickets at the door or in advance from the Birdland website. I recommend at least making a reservation in advance if you are coming.

Of course, you can PURCHASE THE CD NOW if you’d like to be prepared for the gig. I hope to see y’all there!



New Recording Coming Soon!

UPDATE: It’s here! Check out for details!

Phil with Scott LaFaro's Bass

LaFaro’s bass in the bass booth.

I’ve been kind of quiet about this so far, but I guess it’s time to spill the beans. I have a new solo project coming out scheduled for a 2016 release! This is definitely my most ambitious project to date.

2015 has been a pretty massive year for me. It started with having Scott LaFaro’s bass again, this time for six months. When I found out that I was going to have this instrument again, I decided pretty quickly that I wanted to record another CD as a leader. Once I committed myself to that path, I got to work writing! Every morning I would wake up, grab a coffee, and head downstairs to my home studio with manuscript paper and a clean slate. My goal was to write at least twelve songs. Ten made the final cut to the record. This time around I wanted to feature Scotty’s bass in a modern setting. I even tracked a few songs on electric bass, which is a first (but not last) for one of my solo projects. READ MORE

The Return of LaFaro’s Bass to the Village Vanguard

The Village Vanguard

The Village Vanguard

The Village Vanguard

On May 4th, I walked through the doors of the Village Vanguard with Scott LaFaro’s bass in hand. Why is that a big deal? I guess we all have our ideas about what matters in live. We all have our personal journeys to make, and along with those journeys comes our own views of what is monumental. For some people, life landmarks may have been scoring the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl or becoming the CEO of a successful company. For me, it was playing LaFaro’s bass on the very stage that he recorded Waltz for Debby and Sunday at the Village Vanguard 53 years earlier. READ MORE

The Importance of Critical Listening — Part 1


Enjoying the Hi-Fi

As I typed the title phrase Critical Listening I thought to myself “Why do I need to include the word critical?” Why not just title it “The Importance of Listening”?

I guess I added critical for the younger generations that may not have grown up with the idea that a home stereo could be something that you sit in front of like a computer, TV, or book. I felt that if I would have just used the word listen, some people might think “Sure, I listen to music every day- in the car, at the grocery store, when I’m walking across campus, etc… What’s the big deal?” READ MORE

Vinyl vs CD – It’s a Battle to the Death!!!

So, this should be a quick blog post, right. Everyone these days seems to have come full circle back to the discussion that began in ernest in the 1980’s. Which is better? Vinyl? CD? Well, I am here to announce the official results! There is a definite answer, which is enclosed in an envelope sitting in front of me. Okay, are you ready?

Is vinyl better than CD, or is CD better than vinyl? And the answer is………………


My Earplug Odyssey

I have been a fan of earplugs for a long time, but it wasn’t until I lost my custom moulded pair that I reflected on my long term relationship with these little silicone live savers.

I’ve been playing gigs since I was about 14 years old, but it wasn’t until I went on the road with Maynard Ferguson that I realized it was time to fill in ye olde ear holes. I vividly remember my first rehearsal with Maynard. We were set up in an empty hotel room in Indiana. Two saxes, three trumpets, trombone, piano, bass, drums, and Maynard. Now, if you’re not familiar with trumpet players, they can really hurt their lips if they can’t hear themselves properly. That being the case, Maynard was playing into a microphone which was being piped though two stage monitors at his feet. You heard me right. I was standing three feet from the legendary Maynard Ferguson, in a small room, whilst he played double Cs into a PA system! READ MORE