Gerald Wilson, Anthony Wilson, Eric Otis and the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, New York, NY September 30, 2011 There are jazz players who've had extended careers, and then there's Gerald Wilson. The veteran composer, arranger and big band leader might well be able to claim the longest major recording career in jazz. First recorded in 1939 as a member of Jimmie Lunceford's Orchestra, Gerald Wilson celebrated the release of his most recent CD, Legacy (Mack Avenue, 2011), at the age of 93. He appeared, as ever, in fine form on September 30th at ...read more
The beauty of listening to an orchestra in fine form is like being treated to an oceanic swell of music that rises and falls, creating great harmonic waves of sound. This further regales the intellect with the swish of brushstrokes as the music changes in color, from sometimes thick, dark dripping shades, evoking brooding emotion to the pale and moist shades of elation in an ever-changing palette. Then there are the timbres that refresh the soul and the rhythms that dance as soloists and ensemble engage in endless maneuvers, to bring the music to life. This and so much more ...read more
Commissioned by the Detroit International Jazz Festival and premiered on the occasion of the composer's 91st birthday, Gerald Wilson's six-movement Detroit Suite" demonstrates that after nearly seven decades in the music business, the nonagenarian composer and arranger still has a great deal to offer in terms of musical creativity. Wilson spent the latter part of his teen years in the Motor City, where he studied trumpet, piano, percussion, and composition at Cass Technical High School from 1934-39, and he still regards Detroit as a hometown."
The opening Blues on Belle Isle," which is named for a park on a island ...read more
A decade ago, when he was commissioned to write music to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the Monterey Jazz Festival, Gerald Wilson produced the memorable, double Grammy Award-nominated Theme for Monterey (MAMA Records,1998). Now the 89-year-old dean of American Jazz composers has scored another triumph, saluting the festival's golden anniversary with a picturesque seven-part suite, Monterey Moods, that musically epitomizes the scope and character of that annual event.
The motif is deceptively simple: a three-note idea used in various ways as the bedrock of each movement (Allegro/Jazz Swing Waltz/Ballad/Latin Swing/Blues/Bass Solo/Hard Swing), much as a single melodic phrase was deftly ...read more
The Gerald Wilson Orchestra comes out swinging on this CD, recorded in New York with an all-star cast. From the opening Sax Chase, Wilson and orchestra wend their way through eight Wilson originals and reworkings of two standards, Miles Davis' So What and Cole Porter's Love For Sale. The octogenerian leader pays no attention to the numbers in his age. The music he writes, arranges and conducts is fresh and vital. This is big band music at its best, full of energy and excitement. Much of that is due to the band's personnel and numerous notable solos. ...read more
At 87, Gerald Wilson casts a long shadow over the history of jazz. His new collection In My Time sizzles with power and joy, as a New York allstar ensemble ignites his dazzling arrangements. His musical associations and friendships catalogue some of the best musicians of the last 60 years: Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Jimmie Lunceford, Cab Calloway, Benny Carter, Dizzy Gillespie, Dinah Washington, Ray Charles, Oliver Nelson, Zubin Mehta, the list is endless. He is also a writer, arranger, composer, trumpet player and a popular teacher at UCLA. All About Jazz: How's the new ...read more
We are fortunate that jazz has been touched by men like Gerald Wilson. Many legends have passed through this music, leaving us with memories of performances and recordings that will remain long beyond their time. Recorded in our time from a man for all time, In My Time is Wilson's second album for Mack Avenue Records and a followup to the Grammy-nominated New York, New Sound. This session of vibrant and electrifying music will be remembered as one of Wilson's best projects. At age 87, the elder statesman of jazz is not yet finished sharing his music with the world. ...read more