All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 (or more) and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help

298

Steve Wilson: Generations

By
Published:
Sign in to view read count
Steve Wilson: Generations There's an effortlessness to Steve Wilson's saxophone playing, a controlled grasp of melody and rhythm, that cannot be taught in music school. To reach Wilson's level of musicianship obviously takes years and years of intense practice, but this young dude is clearly blessed with an abundance of natural ability. Like a great running back who weaves through would-be tacklers, Wilson meanders gracefully through the spaces created here by Mulgrew Miller (piano), Ben Riley (drums) and Ray Drummond (bass).

A native of Virginia and graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, Wilson settled in New York in 1987 and quickly became one of the Big Apple's most respected sidemen, recording with Leon Parker, Don Byron, Bruce Barth, Dave Liebman, and most recently with Chick Corea's Origin. Generations is actually Wilson's fifth recording as a leader, but his first on Stretch Records. Wilson's concept for this major-label debut was to pit himself with several generations of older players who first inspired him to become a jazz artist.

Miller, Riley and Drummond are veteran virtuosos, and they team with the young soprano and alto saxman on four Wilson originals, one Miller composition, one by Drummond, and two standards. All of the tunes are impressionistic and bop-oriented, but all have strong melodic foundations. As my wife describes it, this is "heavy-duty jazz."

Wilson is equally adept on soprano and alto, and he even plays flute on the gently swinging "Wait," bringing to mind another talented sax-flutist, Eric Dolphy.

Ben Riley continues to be a remarkably stalwart drummer at age 65, and Drummond is his old reliable self on bass. Miller seems particularly loose on these tracks, whether injecting gentle Latin frills on "Trapaceria," comping on Wilson's many impressive flights, or playing extended bop solos. He and Wilson really cook on the free and bopping "Sisko," my favorite track.

The fact that Steve Wilson shines in such company bodes extremely well for his future.

Shop For Jazz

Interviews
Mentoring the Millennials
Interviews
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Duologue
Duologue
MCG Jazz
2014
buy
Soulful Sound
Soulful Sound
MAXJAZZ
2003
buy
Soulful Song
Soulful Song
MAXJAZZ
2003
buy
Passages
Passages
Concord Music Group
2000
buy
Generations
Generations
Concord Music Group
1998
buy
Kenny Garrett Kenny Garrett
sax, alto
Wayne Shorter Wayne Shorter
saxophone
Michael Brecker Michael Brecker
sax, tenor
Chris Potter Chris Potter
reeds
Joshua Redman Joshua Redman
saxophone
Lee Morgan Lee Morgan
trumpet
Charles Lloyd Charles Lloyd
saxophone

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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