Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
176

Matt Wilson Quartet: Humidity

David A. Orthmann By

Sign in to view read count Views
An eclectic drummer, thinker, and bandleader, Matt Wilson shuns fixed stylistic boundaries. He’s endlessly curious and adventuresome, but invariably backs up imaginative leaps in conception and execution with solid musicianship and organizational skills. Humidity, Wilson’s fourth outing for Palmetto, finds his working quartet (plus violin, trumpet, and trombone on a few cuts) fully inhabiting every one of the twelve diverse tracks. The band invests both a continuous state of flux and sense of methodical development to the spacey, disjointed funk of the title track, the unrelenting swing of “Free Willy,” and the pristine beauty of “Wall Shadows.”

The classic Ornette Coleman quartets and trios serve as a point of reference for “Thank You Billy Higgins!”, the disc’s opening track. Fueled by the leader and Yosuke Inoue’s bass, a shifting, three-part theme turns into a joyous rush of momentum supporting Jeff Lederer’s tenor sax. Although he’s paying homage to Higgins, Wilson’s drumming also resembles two of Coleman’s stalwart colleagues, Ed Blackwell and Charles Moffett—especially during the bustling, march-tinged cadences that interact with Andrew D’Angelo’s alto sax. The drummer’s solo is a model of intelligent, cleanly executed, thematic playing that, despite its precision, never stops bounding forward.

The standard “Don’t Blame Me” serves as an example of one of the ways in which Wilson and the band discard or alter conventional forms, dodge expectations, and still come up with a holistic performance. It begins with a somber, out-of-tempo, slightly dissonant melody as Wilson’s brushes seem to flap in different directions. Then a bit of drama is induced by a brief, obsessive motif played by the horns. Sounding both tough and tender, Lederer’s tenor follows for the remainder of the track, approximating a conventional, almost romantic ballad style, over a sparse bass and drums foundation.


Track Listing: 1. Thank You Billy Higgins!; 2. Swimming In The Trees; 3. Cooperation; 4. Free Willy; 5. Wall Shadows; 6. Raga; 7. Code Yellow; 8. Humidity; 9. Don't Blame Me; 10. Our Delight; 11. All My Children; 12. Beginning Of A Memory.

Personnel: Andrew D'Angelo--alto saxophone, bass clarinet, and handbells. Jeff Lederer--tenor and soprano saxophone, clarinet, and handbells. Yosuke Inoue--acoustic bass, electric bass, and handbells. Felicia Wilson--violin (2, 8, and 12). John Carlson--trumpet (2), and pocket trumpet (8). Curtis Hasselbring--trombone (8).

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Palmetto Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop For Jazz

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Beginning of A Memory
Beginning of A Memory
Palmetto Records
2016
buy
Gathering Call
Gathering Call
Palmetto Records
2013
buy
WeBop: A Family Jazz Party
WeBop: A Family Jazz...
Jazz At Lincoln Center
2012
buy
An Attitude For Gratitude
An Attitude For...
Palmetto Records
2012
buy
That's Gonna Leave A Mark
That's Gonna Leave A...
Palmetto Records
2009
buy
The Scenic Route
The Scenic Route
Palmetto Records
2007
buy
Wayne Shorter Wayne Shorter
saxophone
Lee Konitz Lee Konitz
sax, alto
Dave Douglas Dave Douglas
trumpet
Elvin Jones Elvin Jones
drums
Vijay Iyer Vijay Iyer
piano
Andrew Hill Andrew Hill
piano
Kenny Wheeler Kenny Wheeler
trumpet
Paul Motian Paul Motian
drums
Roy Haynes Roy Haynes
drums

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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