Matt Wilson Quartet: Humidity (2003)
Drummer Matt Wilson’s Humidity is somewhat of a free affair. The recording is very much a drummer lead date, with angular, complex rhythms and harmonies, aggressive and assertive tempos, and pile and piles of smart composition. Wilson pays an obvious debt to the late Billy Higgins on the opener, which is essentially a trio between Wilson and saxophonists D’Angelo and Lederer. The piece has a bit of a Middle Eastern flair, a mood that wafts through the entire set. This mood continues with "Swimming in the Trees" but becomes more low-key and spacious on the nominal ballad "Cooperation." D’Angelo’s bass clarinet is very Dolphy-like.
The title cut begins with a simple clarinet figure, supported by some light percussion from Wilson. Here the entire group gets into the act with handbells, making one certain that this is what Charles Mingus would have sounded like composing for the Methodist Church. The horns simple smack of Mingus in the 1960s. The disc on the whole is very free and should appeal to those listeners who are looking outside of the mainstream. A fine, fine recording.
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Track Listing: Thank You Billy Higgins; Swimming In The Trees; Cooperation; Free Willy; Wall Shadows; Raga; Code Yellow; Humidity; Don't Blame Me; Our Delight; All My Children; Beginning Of A Memory. (Total Time 55:03).
Personnel: Andrew D