We are fortunate that jazz has been touched by men like Gerald Wilson. Many legends have passed through this music, leaving us with memories of performances and recordings that will remain long beyond their time. Recorded in our time from a man for all time, In My Time is Wilson's second album for Mack Avenue Records and a followup to the Grammy-nominated New York, New Sound. This session of vibrant and electrifying music will be remembered as one of Wilson's best projects. At age 87, the elder statesman of jazz is not yet finished sharing his music with the world. As we relish this big band sound, a separate compilation of his music from 1961-66 has also just hit the street.
What music this is! When one thinks of jazz, the instrument that most often comes to mind is the saxophone. Wilson pays tribute to it with the opening "Sax Chase," previously known as "Triple Chase" because it featured solos from tenor, alto, and baritone saxophones. The band roars through ten minutes of saxational thunder, highlighting some passionate alternating tenor and alto solos, followed by a torrid chorus from Gary Smulyan on baritone, in between an encore chorus of more alto and tenor madness. Saxophonists Ron Blake, Steve Wilson, Kamasi Washington, and Dustin Cicero round out this one. I've been listening to big band music for a long time now, and I have to tell you this one blew me away. The following three selections"Dorian," "Ray's Vision At The U," and "Blues For Manhattan"comprise the "Diminished Triangle" suite, a study of diminished chords commissioned by the California Institute for the Preservation of Jazz and presented for the first time at Cal State in April 2005.
"Lomelin" is a special treat and one of the album's highlights. It was penned for Mexican bullfighter Antonio Lomelin and is played in the style of an emotional Spanish bolero, serving as a platform for a high-pitched trumpet solo performance by John Faddis. "Bluesette" belongs to guitarist Russell Malone, who dominates this beautiful bluesy ballad. Pianist Renee Rosnes makes her mark with a two-minute intro on "A.E.N.," later taken by the band into fiery territory. I've heard Cole Porter's "Love For Sale" many times before, but never quite like this. Wilson's arrangement of this standard makes for a memorable big band number. Last but certainly not least is "Jeri," named for Wilson's first-born daughter, a spunky and upbeat brassy finale.
One of the greatest composers and arrangers in the history of jazz, Gerald Wilson is no stranger to Grammy nominations and should not be surprised to get a nod for In My Time. One of the best recordings of 2005, this album is a product of powerful arrangements and writing, inspired musicianship, and a lot of class. Let me echo the only words you hear on this album, at the end of "Jeri"... "Thank you, Gerald."
Track Listing: Sax Chase; The Diminished Triangle (Dorian/Ray
Personnel: Gerald Wilson: composer, conductor, arranger; Jon Faddis, Frank Greene, Jimmy Owens,
Jeremy Pelt (1,6,7,10), Eddie Henderson (1-5,8,9), Mike Rodriguez (6,7,10), Sean Jones (2
-5,8,9): trumpet; Jerry Dodgion: alto, soprano saxophone, flute; Steve Wilson: alto
saxophone, flute; Dustin Cicero: alto saxophone; Ron Blake: tenor saxophone, flute;
Kamasi Washington: tenor saxophone; Gary Smulyan: baritone saxophone; Benny Powell,
Dennis Wilson, Luis Bonilla: trombone; Douglas Purviance: bass trombone; Renee Rosnes:
piano; Russell Malone: guitar; Peter Washington: bass; Lewis Nash: drums.
I was first exposed to Jazz when a couple of dear friends of mine turned me onto it around 1971. I was already into Progressive music, R n' B, Soul, Motown, Latin Rock and other styles that were a great ladder to Jazz
I was first exposed to Jazz when a couple of dear friends of mine turned me onto it around 1971. I was already into Progressive music, R n' B, Soul, Motown, Latin Rock and other styles that were a great ladder to Jazz.
Being a Musician myself, (Lead Guitar/Bass Guitar), I studied at the Dick Grove School of Music with Dick Grove, Jeff Richman and Lee Ritenour. This was around '84-'85. I started playing the Guitar in November 1967. Playing Guitar came quite naturally to me thank goodness. Though I spent hours upon hours practicing while my school buddies were doing Sports.
It was in the early '70s that I really got into Jazz, Jazz Rock, Jazz Fusion and World Music. Seeing Weather Report, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Larry Carlton, Steely Dan, John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, RTF, Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters, VSOP, Freddie Hubbard and so many, many more amazing artists opened my eyes to the beauty and eloquent nature of Jazz. I really love the brilliant ensemble playing that is in Jazz!!
When I play and write music, it blends so many style together. Many fans ask me why my playing sounds so jazzy. It's because I understand Blue Notes, the phrasing, the tonality, time signatures and more. I can also play Rock, Folk, Soul, R n' B and other styles too. I seem to gravitate more and more as I get older to a jazzier style. Currently I'm 62 years old. I have released 2 CDs world-wide. Working on my 3rd.
I also teach Guitar/Bass/Music Theory to my students. They range from 6 years old to much, much older. (I was hired by the City of Aurora, CO to teach ages 6-13 specifically). Currently I teach 41 children in 5 classes. Additionally another 7 private students.
My wife, Meesh, and I love Jazz dearly. It was one of the things that we share together!
Most of the people that I know today do not get jazz. I try to explain what to listen for, but many times the music of Jazz is a bit much for them. So be it.
In a nutshell, I live, breath and listen to Music 24/7. No TV except the Food Channel and Weather.
I love John Kelman's articles. They are so insightful and well-constructed!
Thank you all for doing what you do.