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Matt Wilson: Have Drums, Will Travel

By Published: February 13, 2012
AAJ: Did you cut more than you use?

MW: Not much. We started around noon, and we were done by six or six-thirty, something like that.

AAJ: What is Sifter?

MW: Sifter is a new group with Mary Halvorson and Kirk Knuffke
Kirk Knuffke
Kirk Knuffke

and me; it's a trio. We recorded tunes from each of us. There, I am the oldest guy by far in that band! But Sifter came about last year. We did some gigs and this recording. I am pretty excited about it. Trio M is another project that I am really fond of, with Mark Dresser
Mark Dresser
Mark Dresser
bass, acoustic
and Myra Melford
Myra Melford
Myra Melford
. We have a new record, The Guest House (Enja, 2012). I like their energy, and the vibe is great. On this new record, we have everybody's influences and have morphed into something even more unique in certain ways, as far as being a cooperative. It's really fun.

AAJ: What are the different inches that get scratched by all your different projects? Are different bones being tickled?

MW: Yeah, I think so. The older I get, the less I want to understand it. I am still really fascinated by how it all really goes down—the buzz, the wow, this music. And also to feel that energy of people really coming together, like really that vulnerability part of it, and just going, "OK, we are in this. We are in. We are in the pool."

AAJ: You mentioned that you have a tune file that you draw from. Do you have something similar in terms of musicians? Or do you have bucket list of guys that you need to make sure to play with?

MW: Oh yeah, definitely. McCoy Tyner
McCoy Tyner
McCoy Tyner
. That would be great. Just one tune. I really would love to play with Chick Corea
Chick Corea
Chick Corea
. I would think that would be really, really fun. I feel we would get along; I feel like it would be a nice vibe. So with the people you meet along the way—I do these orchestra concerts with Elvis Costello, occasionally. He's great. He's such a nice guy. What a great artist. It's great to be around somebody like that, and he's always very gracious, very nice. And what his tunes say now—it's really, really nice.

AAJ: He is also a music nerd. He could sit here and talk about music all day. He is a great storyteller.

MW: Yeah, he's a great, great guy. He always writes a nice note after we work together. I always love that. John Scofield is a big fan of his music, too. He is always checking out all kinds of stuff. I love sitting around talking about the music with him.

AAJ: What is next for you? You certainly have no shortage of projects on your plate.

MW: As far as the recording, I have written a lot of music for a record of Carl Sandburg poems. I think that is what I am going to do next. I would like to do a concert with my Quartet and Arts and Crafts together: two basses, three horns, the organ. I am thinking about that for next year—to do some concerts of that. That would be fun. I like to keep open to other people's projects, too. I like mixing up what people don't consider compatible people. That's always fun to do.

Selected Discography

Matt Wilson's Arts & Crafts, An Attitude for Gratitude (Palmetto, 2012)

Trio M, The Guest House (Enja, 2012)
Joan Stiles, Three Musicians (OO-Bla-Dee Music, 2011)
The Ray Anderson-Marty Ehrlich Quartet, Hear You Say (Intuition, 2010)
Matt Wilson Quartet, That's Gonna Leave A Mark (Palmetto, 2009)
Mario Pavone, Trio Arc (Playscape, 2008)
Lee Konitz, New Nonet (Omnitone, 2006)
Charlie Haden/Liberation Music Orchestra, Not In Our Name (Verve, 2005)
Matt Wilson's Arts & Crafts, Wake Up! (To What's Happening) (Palmetto, 2004)
Matt Wilson Quartet, Humidity (Palmetto, 2003)
Conference Call, Final Answer (Soul Note, 2002)
Matt Wilson, Arts & Crafts (Palmetto, 2001)
M.O.B. Trio, Loose (Omnitone, 2000)
Matt Wilson Quartet, Smile (Palmetto, 1999)
Matt Wilson, Going Once, Going Twice (Palmetto, 1998)
Cecil McBee, Unspoken (Palmetto, 1997)
Matt Wilson, As Wave Follows Wave (Palmetto, 1996)

Photo Credits

Pages 3: Steven Sussman

Page 4: Andy DePaz

Page 5: Courtesy of Trio M
Page 6: Dave Kaufman

All Other Photos: Courtesy of Matt Wilson
Matt Wilson
Matt Wilson

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