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Philip Elwood

Philip Elwood

Philip 'Phil' Elwood was born on March 19, 1926 in Berkeley, where his father was a professor of agriculture at the University of California.

As a teenager, Phil was introduced to jazz by photographer Dorothea Lange, prompting a lifelong love of the genre and inspiring him to build a large jazz record collection.

Elwood's love of jazz led to a career in radio and print journalism. From 1952-1996, he hosted a weekly series, Jazz Archives, on Berkeley's KPFA, making him one of the first jazz broadcasters in FM radio.

His work in radio celebrated the resurgence of interest in early jazz and documented what became known as the 'San Francisco Style.' 

1965 while working at KPFA, Elwood joined the San Francisco Examiner as an entertainment critic, where he covered jazz, rock, blues, comedy, and cabaret shows in the Bay Area. After 2000, he continued his newspaper career at the San Francisco Chronicle. Following retirement

Phil passed away in 2006.

(Photo: Philip broadcasting on KPFA in 1959, playing Miles Davis)

44 articles

By Artist | By Date

List of articles in the library by artist

Ace of Cups, The Band, The Sons of Champlin: The Band, Sons of Champlin, Ace of Cups: Winterland, San Francisco SF

Live Review by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 18 April 1969

The Band — Too Little, Too Late ...

Cannonball Adderley, Miles Davis, Roberta Flack, Charles Mingus: Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Cannonball Adderley Quintet, Roberta Flack: UC Jazz Festival, Hearst Greek Theater, Berkeley CA

Live Review by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 25 April 1970

Miles Davis Stirs Up New Sounds ...

The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Capitol SMAS 2653)

Review by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 3 June 1967

Last Respects to Beatles In an Album That Turns on ...

The Beatles: The Beatles (Apple)

Review by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 19 November 1968

Beatles' Latest-in a Plain Wrapper ...

The Bee Gees: Disco: They said the same things about the Tango

Comment by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 7 April 1978

"These new dances never lost their original reason for being — passion!" "If couples dancing these new steps could see themselves, especially from the rear, they ...

Elvin Bishop, The Doors, Lonnie Mack: The Doors, Lonnie Mack, Elvin Bishop: Cow Palace, Daly City SF

Live Review by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 26 July 1969

Morrison Closes Doors on Fans ...

Bobby Bland, Maxayn: Bobby "Blue" Bland, Paulette Parker: Basin Street West, San Francisco CA

Live Review by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 3 December 1969

Bobby 'Blue' Bland Is Right On ...

Tim Buckley, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The Sunshine Company, Brenton Wood: Tim Buckley, the Sunshine Company, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Brenton Wood: The Circle Star, San Carlos CA

Live Review by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 2 March 1968

"Rock and Roll '68" — Good Panorama of the Pop Scene ...

Cab Calloway: Of Minnie the Moocher and a Cab with ciass

Profile and Interview by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 6 September 1976

CAB CALLOWAY, sharp, nimble, full of stories and laughs, moved through the noontime crowd at the Washington Square Bar and Grill and onto the sundrenched ...

Cold Blood, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Joy of Cooking: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Joy of Cooking, Cold Blood, Lamb: Winterland, San Francisco CA

Live Review by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 14 November 1969

In Style and Skill CSN&Y Riding High ...

John Coltrane, Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner: The John Coltrane Quartet: Jazz Workshop, San Francisco CA

Live Review by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 15 September 1965

Coltrane, Jones Explode Together ...

Commander Cody: Cody's Airmen On the Way Up

Profile and Interview by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 15 December 1969

THE NATIONAL pop music compass needle has been pointing toward Nashville for over a year and now it is digging into the past of country-and-western ...

Country Joe & The Fish, Led Zeppelin: Country Joe & the Fish, Led Zeppelin: Fillmore West, San Francisco CA

Live Review by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 11 January 1969

Impressive New Rock Group ...

Bing Crosby: A legend takes up where he left off

Interview by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 11 August 1977

IT USED to be said that Bing Crosby's was the best-known voice in the world, and that his films and wartime appearances in the 1940s ...

Miles Davis, Grateful Dead: Grateful Dead, Miles Davis: Fillmore West, San Francisco CA

Live Review by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 10 April 1970

Miles' Marvelous Montage ...

Richard and Mimi Fariña, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service: Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Mimi Farina: Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco CA

Live Review by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 18 August 1966

Some Real Flying In the Fillmore ...

Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs: Flatt & Scruggs: hungry i, San Francisco CA

Live Review by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 2 July 1968

Fine Flatt-Scruggs Sextet ...

Jerry Garcia, Merl Saunders: Dead Leader Who Is Very Much Alive

Report and Interview by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 11 January 1971

JERRY GARCIA is the principal power plant and instrumental, as well as inspirational, leader of San Francisco's oldest continuing rock band, the Grateful Dead. ...

Judy Garland: Circle Star Theater, San Carlos CA

Live Review by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 2 September 1965

Judy's Electric, but Searching Evening ...

Crystal Gayle: She's more than a little sister

Interview by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 17 September 1977

OVER THE last few years, as her own star has been rising high over the country music scene, singer Crystal Gayle has learned to live ...

Grateful Dead, The Teddy Neeley Five, Otis Redding: Otis Redding, Grateful Dead: Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco CA

Live Review by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 21 December 1966

Otis Redding — Rhythm and Blues Tidal Wave ...

Grateful Dead, The Rolling Stones: Still Hope for the Stones

Report by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 3 December 1969

THE ROLLING Stones are still hoping to perform in a gigantic free show in the San Francisco area on Saturday afternoon. ...

It's a Beautiful Day: New New Sounds

Interview by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 30 June 1968

BRIGHTEST AND most compelling of the newer local modern music groups, and certainly the one with the most intriguing sounds and name is violinist David ...

It's a Beautiful Day, Cecil Taylor, The Yardbirds: The Yardbirds, Cecil Taylor, It's a Beautiful Day: Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco CA

Live Review by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 24 May 1968

A Wide Range of New Sounds at the Fillmore ...

The Jackson 5: The J5½ at work and play

Interview by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 22 May 1974

THE JACKSON Five are reaching out, consciously trying to relate their music to an older crowd. ...

Rahsaan Roland Kirk: Roland Kirk's Expanding World

Profile and Interview by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 12 September 1968

MUCH OF Roland Kirk's life has been a dogmatic and frustrating crusade to make his listeners realize that the reason he plays two or three ...

Led Zeppelin: Community Theater, Berkeley CA

Live Review by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 15 September 1971

Musical Joke — But Fans Love Led Zeppelin ...

Ramsey Lewis Trio: Basin Street West, San Francisco CA

Live Review by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Chronicle, 21 October 1965

'In-Crowd' Leader Arrives ...

Donny Osmond, The Osmonds: In the busy world of Donny Osmond

Interview by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 2 November 1977

"YOU'RE GOING to phone Donny Osmond?" A couple of my jazzfan friends stared in disbelief. It was as if I had announced that Duke Ellington ...

Buck Owens: Carousel Ballroom, San Francisco CA

Live Review by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 11 March 1968

Exhilarating Time With Buck Owens ...

Jimmy Reed: A Chicago blues great dead at 50

Obituary by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 31 August 1976

JIMMY REED, one of the great Chicago blues artists, died early yesterday morning in Oakland. He had been playing club engagements throughout Northern California in ...

Terry Riley: A Rainbow in Curved Air (Columbia 7315)

Review by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 24 December 1969

THE WONDERFUL San Franciscan with the strange sounds, Terry Riley, has a second LP out, A Rainbow in Curved Air (Columbia 7315). ...

The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder: Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder: Winterland, San Francisco CA

Live Review by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 7 June 1972

Rolling, Rocking Stones Gather No Moss ...

Santana: Matrix, San Francisco CA

Live Review by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 14 November 1968

Santana Band Up Close ...

Sex Pistols: The Sex Pistols: Winterland, San Francisco CA

Live Review by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 16 January 1978

Sex Pistols end U.S. offensive bored but richer ...

The Shaggs: They are so bad, they're popular

Report by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 13 June 1980

I FIRST HEARD about the Rounder label LP called The Shaggs — Philosophy of the World via a shout of outrage from my 14-year-old son ...

Sylvester: Old Waldorf, San Francisco CA

Live Review by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 21 July 1977

Sylvester: A turn in the right direction ...

Mel Tormé: Tormé writes about a singer, but not himself

Interview by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 16 June 1978

YOUR ONLY contact with Mel Tormé has been while he was performing (singing, playing piano or drums, joking). So you've really only gotten a sample ...

Ike & Tina Turner: Basin Street West, San Francisco CA

Live Review by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 15 August 1968

Like Old Days in Harlem: A Roaring Good Show ...

Bill Withers: A Star Now, Shocked By the Shallowness

Interview by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 27 December 1972

THE HUGELY successful singer Bill Withers is a big guy. When he comes through the doorway, he fills it; when he shakes hands, he really ...

Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band: Watts 103rd Street Band: Band May Be Wattless, but Powerful

Interview by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 8 April 1969

WHAT'S THE magic ingredient that makes popular hit records? If anyone knew for sure he'd have a billion dollar industry rotating around him, at 45 ...

List of genre pieces

Fillmore West Going — Police Blamed

Report and Interview by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 11 June 1971

THE FILLMORE West rock-dance operation at Market and Van Ness will close down permanently at the end of June, an exhausted and bitter Bill Graham ...

Our Famed Fillmore Goes East — With a Difference

Report by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 27 October 1968

  DURING THE past two and a half years the San Francisco Fillmore has become internationally famous as the principal shrine of rock 'n' roll concerts ...

Ralph J. Gleason: Yesterday, we were all losers

Obituary by Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, The, 4 June 1975

EARLY MORNING phono calls are the bad ones. A year ago I was jangled awake and plunged into gloom on hearing "Duke died." ...

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