Damani Phillips | Yaktown Nights

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United States - Michigan

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Jazz: Smooth Jazz Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Moods: Featuring Saxophone
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Yaktown Nights

by Damani Phillips

Debut album release of one of metro Detroit's hottest new jazz saxophonists. The most innovative and refreshing turn that jazz has taken in a long time...the perfect blend of traditional and contemporary jazz.
Genre: Jazz: Smooth Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Sunset's Last Embrace
6:59 $0.99
2. Bay Street Bounce
4:54 $0.99
3. Corcovado
8:01 $0.99
4. Shalom
5:05 $0.99
5. Spanish Kiss
8:16 $0.99
6. Yaktown Nights
6:14 $0.99
7. Pavane for 2G3
6:23 $0.99
8. Spanish Kiss (Alt. Take)
8:22 $0.99
9. Pavane for 2G3 (Alt. Take)
6:20 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

Doctor of Musical Arts, Jazz Studies, University of Colorado at Boulder - Boulder, CO

By my calculations, I'll be the first African-American in the country to receive this degree!!!!

Master of Music, Performance - Jazz Studies, Wayne State University, Detroit,MI

Master of Music, Performance - Classical Saxophone, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.

Bachelor of Music, Performance - Classical Saxophone, DePaul University, Chicago, IL. 1992

Who is Damani Phillips?!?

I am a native of Pontiac, MI and have been playing the Saxophone for over 18 years now. Believe it or not, I actually began my journey in music as a classical saxophonist. After several years of study, my true path became obviously clear....and so Jazz is now my new home! It's funny how that works sometimes, but as the saying goes, everything happens for a reason. I am also an accomplished composer, with several small group and big band compositions/arrangements to my credit. Check out my salsa composition written for sax quintet (Supersax style), published by Walrus Music.

My primary influences in Jazz are Cannonball Adderly, Charlie Parker and more recently Kenny Garrett. Though the influence of Sonny Rollins, Gerald Albright, Clifford Brown, and Dexter Gordon are distinct, Cannon and Bird have given me the most. Though Jazz is definitely home for me, I have actively sought performance opportunities outside of jazz music. These styles include: Rock, Pop, Music from India (you didn't read that incorrectly!), Klesmer music, and Acid Jazz. Versatility is very important to me.......and it makes my music better!

My sorted musical past has helped me become a unique jazz player and composer. I believe that all music has merit, and it is up to the musician to find the good and integrate it into his/her playing. This belief is prominently evident on my album, where styles present include jazz, funk, Latin, hip-hop, and even a twist of classical. As I said in my album description, there isn't much else out there like YAKTOWN NIGHTS. Don't take my word for it, see for yourself.

The Album

1. Sunset's Last Embrace: An original composition written on the beaches of Honolulu, HI. This funk ballad rides over an addictively funky groove and is laced with a smooth lyrical melody that is perfect to set the mood for your next evening in. Performed by my jazz quartet, this track has all kinds of flavor........
2. Bay Street Bounce: Original smooth jazz composition that packs a little more bite than the usual. Written by hip-hop producer RBC, this track incorporates elements of hip-hop and jazz music to create a fresh, new flavor of smooth jazz. Blend this with an original smooth-flowing and infectious melody, and you get this track which is named for the street I grew up on.
3. Corcovado: This creative arrangement of Jobim's bossa is one of the highlights of the album. Just when you think you knew "Quiet Nights", this arrangement lets you know that it begs to differ. Arranged by my pianist Mike Jellick, and played by my jazz combo.
4. Shalom: This up-tempo straight-ahead track swings like a pendulum. This original composition blends elements of jazz and klesmer music. The result: a refreshing new variation of straight-ahead jazz. One of the hottest tracks on the album!
5. Spanish Kiss: This sultry seductive original is by far my favorite track on the album. A beautifully lyrical flamenco-inspired melody written over a slow bossa groove. This track exudes sensuality and sexiness. A guaranteed winner to set the mood right for.........
6. Yaktown Nights: The album title track. No bells and whistles on this one....just a straight-up phat groove to ride to. Combining elements of smooth jazz and hip hop, this track is the head-nodder's anthem!! This track reflects my vision of the nightlife in my hometown Pontiac, MI.
7. Pavane for 2G3: One of the most inventive tracks on the album. This is an imaginative arrangement of Faure's Pavane, op. 50 infused with jazz chords, and all laid over a hip-hop groove. You've heard nothing else like this one - that's a promise. Check out the introduction to this one!! You'll never know what hit you!

And for all the jazz heads out there:
8. Spanish Kiss (alt. take)
9. Pavane for 2G3 (alt. take)

Get your copy of Yaktown Nights today!

Be sure to check out my brand new release "The String Theory" - also available on CD Baby!



to write a review

Mario G.

This Is Good Stuff--Buy It!
Damani Phillips delivers throughout on this release. His extensive musical training is evident. Coming from a fellow sax player, this guy does it well. My favorites are Bay Street Bounce, Sunset's Last Embrace & Yaktown Nights. On these songs he plays sweet, jazzy riffs over contemporary, funky grooves. Very different from most "smooth jazz" that all sounds the same. Kind of reminds me of earlier Greg Osby/Steve Coleman recordings. The other songs are good, too; somewhat more traditional. This will log a lot of time in my cd player. You won't go wrong with this one: a different take on jazz & very,very good!

Thomas Manning

Can't stop playing this good jazz!
This is the best, greatest and innovative combination of jazz I have heard in many years. I await the next release.

alvin bessent

these cat's can play!
a good friend and genuine jazz lover once accused me of "chasing ghosts," because i like old masters like dexter gordon and miles davis so much. well, check this out: cop this album. one day you'll have bragging rights and be able to say, "man you ain't telling me nothing! i've been hip to damani phillips since he first hit way back in 2005."
the bonus is he's very much alive -- as is the music -- and young enough to keep kicking for a whole group of years.

Rob Young

If you’re looking for music that ignores the trendy tendencies of smoothjazz, th
After listening to saxophonist Damani Phillips debut “Yaktown”, I begin to reflect on Damani’s approach to his instrument based on skill and compositional arrangements. Phillips courts with the legacies of jazz transforming the old yet enveloping the new conceptually therefore; bridging the musical gap successfully. Damani essentially strikes a cord with “Yaktown” siftings through the passages of modern music showing what an aspiring musician can achieve with the proper training, skills and opportunity.
Read the whole review at

Robert Brooks

A great CD, a great guy
this cd is great all tracks are just well performed and show off the distinct and just plain cool sytle that Damani has. This cd is defintely a total extension of his personality and it is awesome.

Saneya Hamler

I loved the cd! Its great. I just keep remembering when we were all in band class in junior high. You did an excellent job on this cd. I hope you make more. Yaktown nights is my favorite. Then Bay Street Bounce.

Quincy Stewart

An album with Integrity!
I gave the album four stars because I don't know an artist who has done his or her best work yet!
This album is in a word, Integrity.
I found this album to cover many genres but the one unchanging constant seems to be a strict adherence to musicality; and that's a must for any serious listener.

Being ripped off for so many years with new artists who haven't taken the time to study to be articulate no matter what the genre, I was pleasently surpised with Yaktown Nights. Damani Phillips is clean, articulate and lucid as a saxophonist and tasty as an arranger/composer.
I truly enjoyed my musical journey with this album.
I can't wait for Yaktown Days!