"Phillip Greenlief is a reedman versatile enough to achieve anything except peace in Palestine."
- Greg Burke, LA WEEKLY
photo: laura fields
(b. 1959 Los Angeles)
Since his emergence on the west coast in the late 1970s, saxophonist/composer Phillip Greenlief has achieved international acclaim for his recordings and performances with musicians and composers in the post-jazz continuum as well as new music innovators and virtuosic improvisers. He has performed with Wadada Leo Smith, Meredith Monk, Rashaun Mitchell and They Might Be Giants. Albums include LANTSKAP LOGIC with Fred Frith and Evelyn Davis, THAT OVERT DESIRE OF OBJECT with Joelle Leandre, ALL AT ONCE with FPR (Frank Gratkowski and Jon Raskin), and OH THAT MONSTER with LA punk pioneers Thelonious Monster. Recent residencies have included the Banff Center for Art and Creativity, Neue Muzik Koln, and Headlands Center for the Arts. His critical writing has been published in Artforum, Open Space (SFMOMA), and Signal to Noise.
"The Bay Area's do-it-yourself ethos has produced a bevy of dazzlingly creative musicians, but few have put the philosophy to work as effectively as Phillip Greenlief." – Andrew Gilbert, San Francisco Chronicle
Greenlief's recordings and performances have received critical acclaim in Down Beat, All About Jazz, Jazz Times, Cadence, Modern Saxophone, InfraTunes (France), Altrisuoni (Italy), The Wire (London), Colossus (Finland), Cuademos de Jazz (Spain), New Jazz Improv (Portugal), Los Angeles Times, etc. His duo recordings of improvised music with bassist Trevor Dunn and drummer Scott Amendola received 5 stars in the Music Hound Jazz Essential Album Guide. Recordings with the Lost Trio and his compositions on Russian Notebooks (w/PG & Covered Pages) were listed on the Critics' Top 10 Recording List of 2000 & 2001 (SF Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, East Bay Express, and Downtown Music Guide (NYC). MONKWORK, the most recent release by The Lost Trio, was featured on NPR's Top 10 jazz recordings of 2015. animals & giraffes, his collaboration with writer Claudia La Rocco and other SF Bay luminaries, was awarded Ensemble In Residence (2017 - 2018) at the Center for New Music (SF). Along with other awards, commissions and prizes, he is a recipient of the SF Bay Guardian Goldie Award and is director of music programs at San Francisco Waldorf High School.
photo: chuck koton
"an intrepid composer and player who's profoundly shaped the bay area's improvised music scene for more than three decades ..." - KQED
photo: juana berrio
Read Andrew Gilbert in CLASSICAL VOICE
photo by manuel enriquez in mexico city, 2022
Phillip Greenlief HAS PERFORMED OR RECORDED WITH: with Jessica Ackerley, Bruce Ackley, Ashley Adams, Mark Adams, Steve Adams, Susan Alcorn, Lee Alexander, Liz Allbee, Sarmen Almond, Mercedes Alvarado, Laurie Amat, Scott Amendola, Ara Anderson, Gibran Andrade, Paolo Angeli, Jen Baker, Barnacled, Bonnie Barnett, Claire Elizabeth Barratt, Max Bennett, Will Bernard, Tim Berne, Emily Bezar, Tom Bickley, Big Lou's Polka Casserole, John Bischoff, Joe Bjornson, Jim Black, Myles Boisen, David Boyce, Anthony Braxton Creative Music Orchestra, German Bringas, Kenny Brooks, Broun Fellinis, Chris Brown, Sheldon Brown, Kyle Bruckmann, Jerome Breyerton, Hermann Buhler, Dennis Burke, Gust Burns, Alexandra Buschman, bush assassin, Taylor Ho Bynum, Cactus Truck, Adriana Camacho-Torres, JP Carter, Eugene Chadbourne, Kevin Cheli, Bill Clark, Alex Cline, Nels Cline, Steve Clover, Clubfoot Orchestra, George Coates Theater Works, Keller Coker, Alice Coltrane, India Cooke, James Cornish, Alessandro Cortini, Keith Compton, Matt Crane, George Cremaschi, Crushing Spiral Ensemble, Francesco Cusa, Beth Custer, Tim Daisy, Nicholas Damato, Matt Davignon, Evelyn Davis, Richard Davis, Marlies Debacker, Les DeMerle, Stuart Dempster, Robert Dick, Dieb13, Frank Difficult, Jorrit Dijkstra, Thomas Dimuzio, Tom Djll, Sasha Dobson, Smith Dobson III, Michel Doneda, Bill Douglass, Mark Dresser, Andrew Drury, Trevor Dunn, Tim DuRoche, Dominic DuVal, Harris Eisenstadt's Ahimsa Orchestra, Lisle Ellis, Michelle Ellsworth, Alessandra Eramo, Dina Emerson, Marco Eneidi's American Jungle Orchestra, Korhan Erel, Alex Escalante, Karl Evangelista, Katie Faulkner, Tim Feeney, James Fei, Ken Filiano, Karen Fox, Danny Frankel, Dirk Freymuth, Erik Friedlander, Fred Frith, Gabby Fluke-Mogul, Wolfgang Fuchs, Raffi Garabedian, Christopher Garcia, Philip Gelb, Matylda Gerber, Hannes Giger, Jarrett Gilgore, Ben Goldberg, Vinny Golia, Lance Grabmiller, Frank Gratkowski, Michael Griener, Henry Grimes, Nora Hajos, Mary Halvorson, Paul Hartsaw, Tootie Heath, Ron Heglin, Mark Helias, Jesse Hewit, Shoko Hikage, Tyrone Hill's Deep Space Posse (featuring Marshall Allen), Devin Ray Hoff, Motoko Honda, Tristan Honzinger, Eleanor Hullihan, Nathan Hubbard, Carl Ludwig Hubsch, Charlie Hunter, Matt Ingalls, Invisible Astro Healing Rhythm Quartet, Aurora Josephson, Henry Kaiser, Brittany Karlson, Achim Kaufmann, Elliot Humberto Kavee, Kaleidoscopic Sextet, David Kendall, Mike Khoury, Jmy James Kidd, Kip Kipperman, Carla Kihlstedt, Kyoko Kitamura, Kasey Knudsen, Benjamin Kreith, Oliver Lake, Adam Lane, Claudia La Rocco, Gabriel Lauber, Joelle Leandre, Cheryl Leonard, Adam Levy, Steuart Liebig, Steve Lockwood Ensemble, The Lost Trio, Magda Mayas, Toshi Makihara, Tony Malaby, Michael Manring, Misha Marks, Bob Marsh, Eddie Marshall, Andrea Martignoni, Miya Masaoka, Nate McBride, Thollem McDonas, Dave McNab, Sean Meehan, Ava Mendoza, Madalyn Merkey, Lisa Mezzacappa, Mills College Contemporary Performance Ensemble, Roberto Miranda, Billy Mintz, Rashaun Mitchell, Ed Mock, Hafez Modirzadeh, Meredith Monk, Eddie Moore, Gregg Moore, Michael Moore, Tony Moreno, Joe Morris, Manuel Mota, Kyle Motl, Torsten Muller, Multiple Joy(ce) Orchestra (Koln), Jesse Yusef Murphy, Simon Nabotov, Tatsuya Nakitani, Kim Xuan Nguyen, Maggie Nichols, Per-Anders Nillson, Kanoko Nishi, Oakland Active Orchestra, Oakland Bandemonium, John O'Keefe, Pauline Oliveros' Sounding the Margins Orchestra, OrcheSperry, Orchestra Nostalgico, Matthew Ostrowski, Tom Osuna, William Parker, Andrea Parkins, Maggie Parkins, Zeena Parkins, Dan Peck, Bruno Pelletier-Bacquaert, Natalia Perez, Tim Perkis, Barre Phillips, Noah Phillips, Eli Pina, Ricardo Pittau, Jeff Platz, Dan Plonsey, Alexander Popov, Garth Powell, Kyle Quass, Bhob Rainey, Tom Rainey, Sly Randolf, Jon Raskin, Vicki Ray, Dana Reason, Alec Redfearn & the Eyesores, Amy Reed, Ted Reichman, Silas Riener, Danishta Rivero Castro, Gino Robair, Donald Robinson, Ernesto Rodriguez, Jill Rogers, Scott Rosenberg, Ken Rosser, David Rothbaum, Rough & Tumble, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Ray Russell, Angelica Sanchez, Richard Saunders, Ignaz Schick, Elizabeth Schenck, Davia Schendel, Sue Schlotte, Sara Schoenbeck, Amanda Schoofs, John Schott, Monica Scott, Jonathan Segal, Sesion Libre Trio (mexico city), sfSound Group, Sharkiface, Aram Shelton, John Shiurba, Damon Short, shudder, Todd Sickafoose, Fausto Sirakowski, Waddada Leo Smith, Ches Smith, Damon Smith, Jimmy Smith, Glenn Spearman, Spirit, Karen Stackpole, Moe! Staiano, GE Stinson, Carl Stone, John Stowell, Joe Strummer, Tom Swafford, Agnes Szelag, Horace Tapscott, Natsuki Tamura, Tango #9, Cecil Taylor, Chad Taylor, Carl Testa, Thelonious Monster, Sonship Theus, Eric Thielmans, They Might Be Giants, Iluyemi Thomas, Suzanne Thorpe, Lauren Tietz, Tiger Lillies, Astrid Thiersch, Tri-Axium West Orchestra (performing music of Anthony Braxton), Trio Putanesca, Bertram Turetsky, Dylan van der Schyff, Michael Vatcher, Biggi Vinkeloe, Sabine Vogel, Michael Vlatkovich, Andrew Voigt, Weasel Walter, Jane Wang, Trevor Ware, Christian Weber, Marty Wehner, Ellen Weller, Rich West, Tom White, Andreas Willers, Sam Wilson, Ben Willis, Wobbly, Erling Wold, Kenny Wollesen, Francis Wong, Theresa Wong, Nate Wooley, Katrina Wreede, Jack Wright, "Senator" Eugene Wright, William Wynant, Ottomo Yoshihide, and Pamela Z.
with natalia perez in mexico city - photo by rafael arriaga