204

Matt Wilson: Arts and Crafts

David Adler By

Sign in to view read count
Ever the restless spirit, Matt Wilson tries something entirely new for his fourth Palmetto CD. Sending the members of his regular Matt Wilson Quartet on a brief vacation, the drummer recruits Terell Stafford on trumpet, Larry Goldings on piano (not organ), and Dennis Irwin on bass for a new band he calls Arts and Crafts. Previous efforts with the MWQ and with Dewey Redman have gained Wilson a left-of-center reputation, but on this album Wilson confounds expectations altogether. He begins with Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s "Stompin’ Grounds," a no-nonsense ride through "Stomping at the Savoy" changes. Two tracks later, the band runs down Bud Powell’s "Webb City." Packing an enormous punch without exceeding four minutes, the performance recalls the concise fury of the earliest bebop sides. In a similarly guileless fashion, the group plays a snappy waltz version of George Gershwin’s "Love Walked In." Irwin is featured front and center on Hal Hopper’s "There’s No You," and Stafford warmly caresses the bossa nova melody of Nelson Cavaquinho’s "Beija Flor."

Wilson’s originals are more adventurous — more typically Wilsonian, if you will — but they don’t contradict the spirit in which the cover tunes are offered. "Lester," written in honor of the late Lester Bowie, opens with Stafford in wah-wah mode against the unison backdrop of Irwin’s bass, then develops into a slow doo-wop blues as the trumpeter gets increasingly aggressive and stunning. "Final Answer" is a diatonic free-bop theme that features Goldings going fairly "outside," something he doesn’t do that often. And the title track is a slow groove that again finds Goldings reaching, in subtle but marked contrast to the superb bop playing he does elsewhere on the disc. Indeed, Goldings’s presence is one of the album’s biggest pluses, not least because the organist’s outings on acoustic piano are so rare.

Arts and Crafts also puts a boogaloo spin on Ornette Coleman’s "Old Gospel" and wraps up with a soothing, simple arrangement of the folk melody "All Through the Night." On balance, it could be called Wilson’s most straight-ahead record yet, but it’s clearly not Wilson’s intention to fit neatly into any category. Better just to think of it as Matt Wilson music.

Track Listing: Stompin

Personnel: Matt Wilson

Title: Arts And Crafts | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Palmetto Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Slægt CD/LP/Track Review Slægt
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 24, 2017
Read An Eye on the Future CD/LP/Track Review An Eye on the Future
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Cherry ‎– Sakura CD/LP/Track Review Cherry ‎– Sakura
by John Sharpe
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Blow, Strike & Touch CD/LP/Track Review Blow, Strike & Touch
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Elusive CD/LP/Track Review Elusive
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Transitions CD/LP/Track Review Transitions
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 23, 2017
Read "Territoires" CD/LP/Track Review Territoires
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 26, 2017
Read "2nd Thoughts" CD/LP/Track Review 2nd Thoughts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 8, 2017
Read "Town And Country" CD/LP/Track Review Town And Country
by Jerome Wilson
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "Shipwreck 4" CD/LP/Track Review Shipwreck 4
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 13, 2016
Read "Living Water" CD/LP/Track Review Living Water
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 15, 2017
Read "Energy - Saul Losada" CD/LP/Track Review Energy - Saul Losada
by Paul Naser
Published: March 15, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.