Noah Phillips' music and guitar playing is the result of listening to and emulating the works of many innovative guitar players, composers, and and rock bands of the 21st century. Born in 1976 to parents in their early twenties living in Santa Monica, Phillips was exposed to everything from disco to reggae at a very early age. Phillips' early and lifelong influences include Bob Marley, Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmore, and Jimi Hendrix. While living in a boarding school on the Big Island of Hawaii Phillips began to explore music of the North American African Diaspora including the early works of Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Wes Montgomery, Taj Mahal, and John Lee Hooker.

After completing music studies at the University of Southern California Phillips along with reed player and composer Cory Wright formed the Grasshopper Quartet with with drummer Olysis Naranjo and bass player Aaron Kohen. Grasshopper Quartet eventually produced a record which became Phillips' first recorded works. It was around this time that Phillips also became very interested in the music coming out of the "New and Improvised" music community of Los Angeles wherein he met and began to perform with enigmatic woodwind player Lynn Johnston. Through Johnston Phillips along with close friend and colleague Jeremy Drake connected with multi-instrumentalist Chris Heenan, bassoonist Sara Schoenbeck, drummer Harris Eisenstadt who remain close friends.

During his time in California Phillips has had the good fortune of playing and/or recording with some of his favorite musicians including Jeremy Drake, Harris Eisenstadt, Sara Schoenbeck, Nels and Alex Cline, Vinny Golia, G.E. Stinson, Steuart Leibig, Rich West, Dan Clucas, Phillip Greenlief, Fred Frith, Tim Perkis, Nathan Hubbard, Kris Tiner, Jason Meyers, Ava Mendoza, Aram Shelton, David Rothbaum, and Stephen Flynn just to name a few.