Drummer Matt Wilson is certainly mercurial. Not only can he be found playing in all manner and format, working with everyone from Myra Melford to John Zorn to Elvis Costello, he regularly leads two quartets: Arts & Crafts, and this one, featuring roiling windman Jeff Lederer, cornetist Kirk Knuffke} and bassist Chris Lightcap. Augmented here by ubiquitous Boston-based pianist John Medeski, the MWQ turns in a diverse brace of tunes, held together by sequencing and two throat-clearers, the title track and the aptly titled Dreamscape."Recorded in one day, Gathering Call" sounds spontaneous; the craft undoubtedly went into the ...read more
Other than leading his Arts & Crafts and Quartet ensembles, drummer Matt Wilson may be among the most recorded jazz session drummers of recent times. With guest pianist John Medeski, the ensemble delves into a set consisting of Wilson originals and a mixed bag of pop and jazz tunes, penned by diverse artists such as Beyonce,' Duke Ellington, Butch Warren, Hugh Lawson and others. Nonetheless, the musicians swing hard and enact a few classic jazz type blowing fests. And they occasionally zoom into the free-zone during some heated improvisational segments. Otherwise, Wilson's arrangements are not constructed on longwinded jam sessions. ...read more
Drummer Matt Wilson may define the ideal of unabashed enthusiasm better than anyone else in jazz. His cymbals and drums even seem to be smiling when he sets sticks to them, so it should come as no shock that musical zeal is a key factor in the success of Gathering Call. For his eleventh album as a leader, this musical ray of positive energy called on his quartet and added an important guest to the mix; he reunited with his old friend and former band mate in the late '80s edition of Russ Gershon's Either/Orchestra--pianist John Medeski. The resultant music ...read more
When he is not occupying the drum chair of one of dozens of bands that he is called upon to inject with his contagious effervescence, drummer Matt Wilson can be found leading his two bands, Arts & Crafts and the Matt Wilson Quartet. Both quartets feature stellar bassists, Arts & Crafts--Martin Wind and here, Chris Lightcap. Where the former employs the talents of pianist/organist Gary Versace, the Quartet sails without keys. That is, until Wilson invites John Medeski as a guest for the Quartet's fourth release. Following That's Gonna Leave A Mark (Palmetto, 2009), Wilson substituted cornetist Kirk ...read more
Drummer Matt Wilson must surely be in the running for the title of hardest-working man in jazz. Wilson is a composer, bandleader, producer and teacher. As a leader, his projects include the Matt Wilson Quartet, Arts & Crafts, Christmas Tree-O and the Carl Sandburg Project. He has been in bands with luminaries such as Joe Lovano, John Scofield, Charlie Haden, Lee Konitz, Ted Nash and many, many others. As for legends, he's played with Herbie Hancock, Dewey Redman, Andrew Hill, Bobby Hutcherson, Elvis Costello, Cedar Walton, Kenny Barron, John Zorn, Wynton Marsalis, Michael Brecker, Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell and Hank ...read more
Drummer Matt Wilson may be the supreme human confluence of technique, swing, spirit, humor and musicality. Over the past 20 years, Wilson has proven to be one of a select few that can balance an inside/outside aesthetic, often within a single piece of music. He has helped shape the music of Dewey Redman, Charlie Haden, Either/Orchestra, Lee Konitz, Denny Zeitlin and many others, but his own body of recorded work highlights his unique personality and musical perspective better than any sideman date in his discography. Wilson has built a strong body of work with both of his ...read more
Often times just being in the right place at the right time will provide us with moments that inspire us for a lifetime. We should all be grateful for the moments where someone has done or said something that leaves a mark on our lives. Here are five leave a mark" moments in my musical life I would like to share. As a kid, I remember seeing a profile of Count Basie on 60 Minutes. I believe Morley Safer was the correspondent for the segment. At one point he asked Mr. Basie the common question, What ...read more
A drummer whose creativity, drive, dedication and infectious joy have garnered him high honors from fellow musicians and critics alike, Matt Wilson is also a perspicacious and activist bandleader. The Matt Wilson Quartet--alto and tenor saxophones doubling clarinets, bass and drums--is raucous, rambunctious and high energy. Among piano-less quartets, it's more in the tradition of Ornette Coleman, Max Roach and Charles Mingus than Gerry Mulligan or Gary Burton. The similarities with Coleman's two-sax quartet that paired him with Dewey Redman's tenor, in whose own quartet Wilson played for over a decade, are palpable on tunes with a ...read more
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Day 11
While the 2007 edition of the TD Canada Trust Ottawa International Jazz Festival technically wraps up on July 1 (Canada Day), an agreement with the National Capital Commission requires that shows in Confederation Park be free to all on that day, making Saturday, Day Ten, the last day of ticketed/pass-required shows at all venues. From pianist/vocalist Freddy Cole's mainstream quartet to a Confederation Park Latin double bill that's become an ...read more
Whenever he plays, drummer Matt Wilson exudes an infectious enthusiasm that affects audience and musicians alike. It is one of the qualities--along with his sheer musicality and the technical facility to play inside and outside--that has attracted a range of bandleaders to Wilson. His book is so full with sideman dates that it's a wonder he finds time to develop music for his two ensembles.
On The Scenic Route, Wilson leads a modified version of his Arts & Crafts quartet, with Gary Versace (organ, piano and accordion) replacing Larry Goldings. The group is rounded out by trumpeter Terell Stafford and ...read more
It's early summer, the sky is clear and warm, and you're half-reclined behind the wheel of a white, American-made convertible, cruising smoothly down the highway. Suddenly you notice that you've drifted off onto the wrong exit ramp. In order to right your blunder, you have to navigate a service road littered with zany, brightly colored bric-a-brac. You finally make it back to the main stretch, but you're doomed to repeat your folly nine more times before the end of your trip.Were this to actually happen to you, you might have a sense of what it's like to take ...read more
Drummer Matt Wilson's Arts and Crafts ensemble has followed a somewhat more mainstream path than some of his previous efforts. With each release, Wilson has been slowly expanding the concept of this unconventional quartet with an eclectic and exploratory ear. Arts & Crafts' third album on Palmetto Records, The Scenic Route, is as varied and rewarding as either of the group's previous efforts.
A solid mainstream player, trumpeter Terell Stafford represents the group's dominant solo voice, acquitting himself well in the company of more free-ranging musicians like organist/pianist Gary Versace, who replaces Larry Goldings this time out. Bassist ...read more
Matt Wilson's Arts & Crafts swings in a collective manner with a comfortable fit that speaks from the jazz tradition, while driving with soulful authority. Trumpeter Terell Stafford gives Wilson an eloquent lyrical voice that he backs with propulsive rhythms. Pianist and organist Gary Versace gives this powerful quartet its various moods, which bassist Dennis Irwin complements with a lyrical rhythmic foundation.
The organ sound lends a soulful texture to much of the album, while Versace's piano carries on the tradition of acoustic straight-ahead jazz. Wilson's four original pieces embark on a contemporary journey that reveals the heart ...read more
If you combined Groucho Marx with Marco Polo, Gomer Pyle and Albert Einstein and gave them a drum set they would probably play exactly like the funny, explorative, country-boy genius Matt Wilson.
I first met Matt a couple of years after he had arrived here in the big apple back in 1992. It was then that we started working together with beautiful singer Carla White and soon after with the band of saxophone/flute virtuoso Thomas Chapin as well as with the band of bass master/composer Mario Pavone. I remember our first meeting at a rehearsal for Carla White ...read more
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