— excerpt from TheJazzCorner website:
Phil Flanigan, born on June 28, 1956, left his home town, Geneva, New York, at the age of 17 with the intention of playing with jazz greats in New York City. Two years later, he was doing just that. His father's record collection had provided an early exposure to the sounds of the giants of jazz, and his early performances with Scott Hamilton and Roy Eldridge provided the training.
It was his work with the Scott Hamilton Quintet during this time that was perhaps the most influential. Numerous tours to Europe, four tours of Japan, and many recordings on the Concord Jazz label resulted from this association. The quintet also received accolades during its stint as the regular Sunday night band at Eddie Condon's, during which time guest artists were featured with Scott's band. Some of these guests included Illinois Jacquet, Jimmy Rowles, Tommy Flanagan, and Ruby Braff. Around this same time, Phil could frequently be found playing or sitting in with Roy Eldridge at Jimmy Ryan's just down the block from Condon's. Aside from being just plain fun, it was a real education in the ways of professional jazzmen, principally because Roy, who played brilliantly on a nightly basis, also took Phil, Scott and company under his wing and at the same time treated them as his equals.
In addition to the Sunday nights at Condon's, Phil frequently played with the house band, which often included Ed Polcer, Jack Maheu, Connie Kay, and Vic Dickenson. Guests included Jimmy McPartland, Wild Bill Davison, John Bunch, and Dick Wellstood.
This New York period was notable for opportunities to play with still extant swing and bop era practitioners. Among the most memorable were Jo Jones, Tiny Grimes, Johnny Griffin, and Hank Jones. On one particular night, Phil played with Sonny Greer, the drummer with the Ellington band when bassist Jimmy Blanton was developing his innovative approach. The then 81-year-old Greer showed his appreciation for the fact that Flanigan had done his Blanton homework. This period was also notable for opportunities to tour and record with the likes of Benny Goodman, Rosemary Clooney, Maxine Sullivan, Bob Wilber, Johnny Griffin, Kenny Davern, Warren Vache, Ruby Braff, Howard Alden and many other jazz icons.
In 1989 Phil moved to Florida, quickly establishing himself as first-call jazz bassist for recordings and for concerts sponsored by the many active Florida jazz societies, as well as local clubs and private gigs with such luminaries as Eddie Higgins, Lonnie Smith, and Ira Sullivan. While in Florida, he also became associated with Allan Vache, a very fruitful musical relationship that has so far resulted in many recordings and concert situations, among them The Big Four, a drumless quartet featuring the music of Mugsy Spanier and Sidney Bechet.....