Tenor Madness

Flip Phillips

March 26, 1915 – August 17, 2001

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Tenor saxophonist and clarinetist Joseph Edward Filipelli “Flip Phillips” was born March 26, 1915, in Brooklyn, New York.

Filipelli got his professional start in the 1930’s playing clarinet at a Brooklyn restaurant.

He played in groups with Frankie Newton, Benny Goodman, Bill Harris and others.

Filipelli was best known for his Jazz at the Philharmonic performances, where his wild solos caused quite an uproar with the crowd.

The versatile reed man was acquired an equal degree of competency in a number of styles including bebop, jump, and swing. “

He continued recording with small groups exclusively for Clef Records during the late 40’s and early 1950s and was featured on Lady Day’s 1952 LP release “Billie Holiday Sings.”

Flip Phillips is the guest of honor at a jam session held in 1995 on his 80th birthday.


Flip Phillips, tenor sax
Scott Hamilton, tenor sax
Randy Sandke, trumpet
Carl Fontana, trombone
Buddy DeFranco clarinet,
Derek Smith, piano
Phil Woods alto sax
Herb Ellis, guitar
Sean Smith, double bass
Butch Miles, drums


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