OK, Santa Fe fans, here is our March profile -- non other than Mr. Philip Wigfall, saxophonist extrordinaire. I have to say, that his improvisational interpretations, his fingering on those valves, and his armature on those reeds, well...we're left astounded and breathless! Taking us on the ride with him is perfectly blended with the other instruments yet gives contrast, depth and interest to sounds that are familiar. I could go on and on about this guy, but let's get to some personal information.
OK, he blows the alto sax, flute, clarinet, and even plays some keys. Phil attended UNLV and Berklee School of Music in Boston. Since he was 9 years old, he’s had the desire to play. At 18, he had his first professional gig with a local drummer. He's since played with Sheena Easton from 1991-1999, and Clint Holmes and Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns more recently. He tells of being influenced by Charlie Parker and Paul Desmond, and if you listen carefully, you can hear their sounds embedded in his own. Phil lives in Henderson with his wife and two young daughters, ages 4 and 6.
He's now 41 yrs old, has his own CD entitled "Cosmic Soul" and his goal has been to be a solo artist in addition to being a member of the great Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns. He mentioned to me a gig he did in 1997 with Quincy Jones that was outstanding and he remembers doing a tribute to Frank Sinatra at the MGM that was equally memorable. Earning a living for his family with his axe is of the utmost importance to him. He likes to read H.G. Wells as well as other science fiction, and enjoys photography. Phil Wigfall, a young man with a brilliant future.
IN HIS OWN WORDS:
"I was a bit of a jazz snob before I got to Berklee. That soon changed when I had the chance to see Miles Davis live. In spite of my jazz conceit, I still wanted to see Miles play. At that time, Miles was playing electric jazz funk. Not exactly bebop! I especially wanted to hear his new alto saxophonist, Kenny Garrett. I had met Kenny in New York in 1985 at the Village Vanguard jazz club. I was so impressed with his playing, I became more serious about jazz music. That's when I became a jazz snob! But when I heard Kenny Garrett playing funk and playing the HELL out of it, I realized I had been wrong! I needed to be as flexible and open-minded a musician as he was! And when I returned to Vegas, I returned with a more positive attitude toward all music."