Pull Out Those Dreams
'Pull Out Those Dreams,' Lil Phillips' star-studded debut CD, was produced by Suzi Reynolds and features arrangements by tuba and low-brass legend, Howard Johnson, with performances by jazz all-stars Larry Willis, Onaje Allen Gumbs, Bob Cranshaw, Ben Riley, Vinton Johnson, Cleave Guyton, Jr. and the great Benny Powell. The remarkably memorable original music and lyrics were composed by Jim Phillips. In an era when 'knock offs' are not only commonplace, but culturally valued, how precious is a true original? At a time when youth and naiveté are deified, how remarkable are those who live half their lives taking it all in, intentionally 'saving the best for last' to live their passion? Lil and Jim Phillips are two such extraordinary individuals; high school sweethearts who married other people, but found their way back to one another and built a life committed to love, learning, and the fulfillment of self-expression through music. Former violin/viola student at the H.S. of Music and Art, member of Dinizulu African Singers and Dancers, Lil also studied classical/gospel vocal technique with Emory Taylor (Director of Harlem'sOpera) and vocal interpretation with jazz legend, Dr. Barry Harris. As a City University of New York BA/MA graduate, Lil became Associate Administrator for it's Board of Trustees. She took early retirement in 1995 to pursue a career as a jazz vocalist. Her first band opened for Noel Pointer at Aaron Davis Hall, performed locally at Symphony Space, in New York City clubs like Birdland and B.Smith's, at Harlem, Queens and Bronx outdoor festivals, and at hotspots like Copeland's, where she soon discovered her audiences clamoring for more of Jim's original tunes. Says legendary pianist Larry Willis, 'In this era of African American Music, one is increasingly hard pressed to find all of the essential qualities of a great artist: a beautiful elegance of sound, the ability to convey a believable story and the overall musicianship to make it a pleasurable listening experience... Having had the opportunity to accompany such great jazz divas as Carmen McRae, Shirley Horn and Gloria Lynne, I must include Lil Phillips in that category. She conjures up, at times, the grace and power of a Dinah Washington, the tenderness of a Shirley Horn, with the virtuosity of Sarah Vaughan.' Exciting new music and a new voice of depth and substance for our times, a heartwarming story and a glorious cast, this project is destined for media magic and an enthusiastic international audience.