Phil describes his influences as those artists he felt played with space and feel. His ear was drawn to saxophonists Grover Washington Jr., Richard Elliot, Kirk Whalum and Boney James in the early 90’s and recalls spending countless hours in front of his brother’s disc changer listening to and emulating their sounds.
“I have always been drawn to a more urban vibe in my musical preference and like the idea of space; this give the listener time to feel and translate the music.” Smooth jazz journalist Brent Black describes Phil as having “the control and phrasing of Grover Washington Jr. and the lyrical chops of Stan Getz.”
Now, with a unique and identifiable style and personality of his own, Phil has cultivated a loyal and diverse fan base while building an impressive resume. Performance highlights to date include an appearance at the 2012 Dubai International Jazz Festival, the 2013 Arizona Jazz Festival, a sold out debut performance at Spaghettini Grill & Jazz club, performing as sideman to guitarists Peter White and Tim Bowman, opening for RnR, playing alongside Kirk Whalum, Rick Braun, Lalah Hathaway and jamming with Stevie Wonder. Additional accomplishments include a sold out 2012 hometown Crossover album release concert, a sold out 2012 inaugural Phil Denny & Friends Christmas Collective and producing a successful on-going monthly jazz series in his hometown of Lansing, MI.
Knowing how to play withinhimself and simply let the music lead the way is how this rising-star sax player approaches his music. He is but the vehicle. The next time you’re looking to wander a new journey, dial in Phil Denny.