Home » Jazz Articles » Matt Wilson: Honey And Salt

11
Album Review

Matt Wilson: Honey And Salt

By

Sign in to view read count
Matt Wilson: Honey And Salt
We will forgive you if you believed drummer Matt Wilson's previous recording Beginning Of A Memory (Palmetto, 2016) was a summing-up of his career to date. On that recording he invited just about every musician he has worked with as a leader. The conspicuous absence was, of course, Dewey Redman, who had passed on in 2006. Nonetheless, his latest project,Honey And Salt, music inspired by the poetry of Carl Sandburg, is an album he has been making since he strode onto the music scene some thirty years ago. On his debut as a leader, As Wave Follows Wave (Palmetto, 1996), a title taken from a Sandburg poem "The People, Yes," he spoke, followed by his bandmates, the poet's words. He uses the same approach here, but now Wilson is more seasoned and maybe a bit melancholic. He recites "As Wave Follows Wave" with Ron Miles' cornet and Dawn Wilson's guitar accompanying the chorus of words.

Never fear, for Matt Wilson's music rarely lingers on the woeful for long. This project seems so very personal. Sandburg (1878-1967) was born in a small Illinois town near the drummer's boyhood home, and his poetry was/is part of Wilson's persona. Both artists wear their Midwestern roots proudly. Their blues drenched "Soup" describes a celebrity dining and being observed, not by paparazzi, but a thoroughly unimpressed bystander. The same idea permeates "Anywhere and Everywhere People." Christian McBride's spoken word tells of purposeful conspicuousness and inconspicuous conspicuousness with Ron Miles and Jeff Lederer leafing and woofing horns around the poem. The project mixes sung lines by Dawn Thomson with spoken parts from McBride, Lederer, John Scofield, Bill Frisell, Carla Bley, Joe Lovano, Rufus Reid, and the actor Jack Black. Even the poet is heard here reading the poem every child learns in grade school, "Fog." Wilson plays solo drums over a loop of the 21-word poem, tuning the drums to the words.

There are many gems here. The rallying shout of "Choose," a fork-in-the road march that asks us which, "the single clenched fist lifted and ready/or the open asking hand held out and waiting." It seems that question is even more relevant in today's culture. "Snatch of Sliphorn Jazz" read by Black reminds us of the poetry of Kenneth Patchen read over a jazz combo. Lovano, Frisell, and Scofield slide hipster lines and Reid massages a noir-ish tale of a nightwalker. Wilson swaps jazz for bits of country folk balladry with "I Sang" and "Offering and Rebuff," making this an all inclusive affair.

Track Listing

Soup; Anywhere and Everywhere People; As Wave Follows Wave; Night Stuff; We Must Be Polite; Fog; Choose; Prairie Barn; Offering and Rebuff; Stars, Songs, Face; Bringers; Snatch of Sliphorn Jazz; Paper 2; Trafficker; Paper1; I Sang.

Personnel

Dawn Thomson: vocals, guitar; Ron Miles: cornet; Jeff Lederer: reeds, harmonium, voice; Martin Wind: acoustic bass, voice; Matt Wilson: drums, voice; Jack Black: voice; Christian McBride: voice; John Scofield: voice; Carla Bley: voice; Bill Frisell,: voice; Joe Lovano: voice; Rufus Reid: voice.

Album information

Title: Honey And Salt | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Palmetto Records


FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Post a comment about this album

Tags

More

The Way of the Groove
Ben Patterson
Incorporated
Skopje Jazz Inc.
Times Like These
Nica Carrington

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.