"Along with his shoot-from-the-hip, Sonny Rollins/Joe Henderson-like urgency, Phillips swings hard and plays it out-in-the-alley like it matters. His new CD, Wade in the Water, perfectly showcases his suave dynamics of musicality, showmanship and swagger — as rooted in the tradition of jazz’s cradle as it is caged in frenzied jazz modernity."
Music: Devin Phillips and New Orleans Straight Ahead
December 13, 2006
" ‘A lot of my training came from playing in brass bands, and that is a big part of the New Orleans region… no matter what era you are from, playing in a brass band is a very important part of being a horn player from New Orleans. It is a famous tradition, and every important horn player has done it — beginning with Danny Barker.’"
Life Before, During, and After Katrina
"Improvising, creatively enhancing the artistry of music, Phillips pulls out all the stops."
Barbara Schuetze, Portland Tribune, April 4, 2006
"Devin has a huge, robust sound, like Sonny Rollins or Dexter Gordon, but what sets him apart is the amazing complexity of his playing…. He’s added vitality, verve and spice to the Portland jazz scene."
Ron Steen, veteran jazz drummer
"He plays with intensity and focus that belies his 24 years."
Clubscene, Jazz Society of Oregon, March 2006
"A young and talented musician from New Orleans who relocated here after Hurricane Katrina, he blew his horn and the notes as gentle yet firm as a quiet resolution embellished Amazing Grace."
The Oregonian, on Phillips’ opening the 2006 Portland Jazz Festival
"Devin Phillips and the New Orleans Straight Ahead is more of a classic sit down Jazz quartet that you would expect to see in a tiny smoky bar in the 1950’s in New York City… Phillips is joined by Eric Gruber on the stand up bass, Andrew Oliver who plays classic piano and Mark DiFlorio on drums in this project as well. This is bare-bones jazz that is beautiful in its simplicity. This is terrific improvisation, and Phillips is leading the charge."
Jason Gershuny, Glide Magazine, July 06, 2006
"Jazzman Testifies to City’s Kindness: When Hurricane Katrina blew jazzman Devin Phillips from his native New Orleans, he found more than dry ground. He found fertile soil for a fresh start…"
Edna Gundersen, USA Today, November 9, 2005