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Matt Wilson

I was born in the prairie town of Knoxville, Illinois September 27th 1964. I was lucky to have cool parents who encouraged me in my creative pursuits where it was music, theater, writing or weird art. I became interested in playing the drums in the third grade after seeing Buddy Rich on the Lucy Show. He was judging a local drum contest featuring Ricky Jr. a fine drummer. Inspired, I pooled together some capital and purchased some Ludwig 9a sticks at the local Byerly Music store. With sticks in hand I began exploring a wide range of suitable cookware and five gallon buckets as sound sources. Soon my parents made in investment in a used of brand snare drum drum and cymbal. My middle brother played the saxophone and we immersed in the local PTA and 4H concert circuit at a very young age. It was quite a duo, Mark with his Beuscher tenor and me with my minimalist set up of orange sparkle snare drum and 10” sheet metal cymbal. We had a book that explored all of the hits of the 60’s and 70’s. (We were serious Herb Alpert afficiandos). We even had some cool schtick: I guess times have not really changed.

I played in all of the groups in school and finally learned how to read music.I had a cool high school band director who started hiring me to play drums in his weekend dance band. I t was fun and I made some cash which was nice for an eighth grader. Soon I was playing in local groups of all kinds. A big band, very creative rock band called Common Denominator, country bands, Dixieland bands anything I could play. I was also extremely fortunate to study with a great local drummer who taught me music not just how to play fast. He was very inspirational and was very helpful in my pre paring for college.

I went to college at Wichita State University and there was exposed to one of the most influential mentors of my career, Dr. JC Combs. He is not only a fantastic percussionist but he possesses one of the most creatively fertile imaginations on the planet. We played percussion works featuring a wide array of strange components. Pinball machines, cloggers, bowlers and professional wrestlers all were standard fare. He also instilled in me a true entrepreneurial spirit. Combs always knew how to market and get folks to the concerts that were always sold out no matter how bizarre. My colleagues were equally insane and it was a inspirational environment to spend my college years.

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5
Album Review

Denny Zeitlin: Panoply

Read "Panoply" reviewed by Pierre Giroux


Denny Zeitlin's Panoply is a diverse array collection of unreleased performances comprising solo piano recordings at the Piedmont Piano Company in Oakland, California, trio sessions with bassist Buster Williams and drummer Matt Wilson captured at Mezzrow Jazz Club in New York City, and duo pieces with drummer/percussionist George Marsh collected over a decade of home recordings at Zeitlin's Double Helix Studio. The album opens with a trio performance of George Gershwin's “I Was Doing All Right." ...

Album Review

Jeff Lederer, Mary LaRose: Schoenberg on the Beach

Read "Schoenberg on the Beach" reviewed by Alberto Bazzurro


La copertina, scarna ed evocativa, con quel virato seppia che le dà tutto il fascino delle cose d'antan, dice già molto circa la tipologia e il tono del lavoro, firmato da Jeff Lederer in combutta con sua moglie, la cantante Mary LaRose, la quale attraversa il disco come una sorta di presenza parallela, districandosi--quando chiamata al centro delle operazioni--attraverso testi di autori anche molto illustri (Goethe, Nietzsche e Rilke bastano a rendere l'idea?) e musiche non solo del dedicatario dell'opera, ...

7
Album Review

Jeff Lederer with Mary LaRose: Schoenberg on the Beach

Read "Schoenberg on the Beach" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


Saxophonist Jeff Lederer has used several unexpected inspirations for musical projects over the years, such as Shaker hymns and the writings of Herman Melville. Schoenberg on the Beach may be the most audacious thing he has ever done. It blends the compositions of Arnold Schoenberg and Anton Webern and the sounds of Coney Island together into an intriguing song cycle performed by a team of exceptional jazz musicians. Schoenberg lived in Los Angeles in the latter part of ...

7
Album Review

Karl Berger: Heart Is A Melody

Read "Heart Is A Melody" reviewed by Dave Linn


Karl Berger, one of the more unsung and underrated jazz musicians of our time, passed away on April 9, 2023. He had just turned 88 years old. Berger released several dozen albums as a leader and scores more as a sideman. His discography reads like a Who's Who of modern jazz. He recorded with people such as Don Cherry, Bill Laswell, Carla Bley, Anthony Braxton, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Charles Mingus, Lee Konitz and John McLaughlin, among many more. Berger ...

7
Album Review

Leap Day Trio: Live at The Cafe Bohemia

Read "Live at The Cafe Bohemia" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


Drummer Matt Wilson and tenor saxophonist Jeff Lederer have worked on many projects together, over a thirty-year period, covering everything from Christmas songs to the poetry of Carl Sandburg. This particular album finds them in a stripped-down trio, playing some of their most intense music ever, live at New York's reopened Cafe Bohemia. The trio's third member is bassist Mimi Jones, a recent acquaintance of both men, who fits right in with their freewheeling dialogues. Lederer blows with ...

13
Album Review

Matt Wilson: Live at The Cafe Bohemia

Read "Live at The Cafe Bohemia" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic


From its modest opening in 1955 until its closing in 1960, 15 Barrow Street in Greenwich Village, aka Cafe Bohemia, housed such progressive jazz creators as Oscar Pettiford, Horace Silver and Kenny Dorham. Charlie Parker, who lived across the street, was booked to open the club and play for drinks but passed away before his run began. Cannonball Adderley made his New York debut there sitting in for Pettiford's regular sax man Jerome Richardson. A slew of hydrogen hot discs, ...

1
Liner Notes

CeCe Gable: Next Year's Song

Read "CeCe Gable: Next Year's Song" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


To hear CeCe Gable sing is to encounter pure truth. A late bloomer whose early passion for dance was eventually eclipsed by the lure of jazz, she's spent the past three decades honing her craft and establishing herself as a sincere storyteller adept at honoring a lyric and elevating every number she inhabits. Since first taking to the studio at the dawn of the new millennium, CeCe has gone on to develop a body of work that speaks volumes about ...

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4

Performance / Tour

Singer Roberta Brenza Presents Her Debut Release Featuring Sheila Jordan, Matt Wilson & More On September 16th - Friday 'It's My Turn To Color Now' At Soapbox Gallery!

Singer Roberta Brenza Presents Her Debut Release Featuring Sheila Jordan, Matt Wilson & More On September 16th - Friday 'It's My Turn To Color Now' At Soapbox Gallery!

Source: Scott Thompson Public Relations

Friday, September 16th, 8pm Soapbox Gallery 636 Dean Street Brooklyn, NY, 11238 “Her delightfully casual and welcoming voice, defying gravity in a manner not unlike a legend such as Blossom Dearie or peer Kat Edmonson, has the special charm that’s easy on the ears with the potential to stir your heart." —John Ephland “She’s a wonderful talent. And I think it’s great that she’s doing a recording, putting a CD out there. I think it’s wonderful. ...She has ...

6

Recording

Singer Roberta Brenza Presents Her Debut Release August 19th Featuring Sheila Jordan, Matt Wilson & More! 'It's My Turn To Color Now!'

Singer Roberta Brenza Presents Her Debut Release August 19th Featuring Sheila Jordan, Matt Wilson & More! 'It's My Turn To Color Now!'

Source: Scott Thompson Public Relations

"Her delightfully casual and welcoming voice, defying gravity in a manner not unlike a legend such as Blossom Dearie or peer Kat Edmonson, has the special charm that’s easy on the ears with the potential to stir your heart." —John Ephland Coming to performing later in life, Chicago-based vocalist/songwriter Roberta Brenza makes the most of this debut recording experience—It's My Turn to Color Now—-as she enlists a brilliant team of playmates—producer & drummer Matt Wilson, pianist Dawn Clement, bassist Cameron ...

Performance / Tour

Jazz this week: Matt Wilson's Christmas Tree-O, Karl Denson, and more

Jazz this week: Matt Wilson's Christmas Tree-O, Karl Denson, and more

Source: St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman

This week's calendar of jazz and creative music in St. Louis includes a generous helping of holiday music; the long-awaited return of a popular jam-band performer; a tribute to one of St. Louis' all-time jazz greats; and more. Let's go to the highlights... Wednesday, December 7 Drummer Matt Wilson’s Christmas Tree-O returns to spread their particular brand of holiday cheer for the first of two nights at Jazz at the Bistro. For more about the Tree-O and some video samples ...

1

Recording

Monday Recommendation (A Day Late): Matt Wilson

Monday Recommendation (A Day Late): Matt Wilson

Source: Rifftides by Doug Ramsey

Matt Wilson's Big Happy Family, Beginning Of A Memory (Palmetto) The title belies the pain of the loss that inspired Matt Wilson’s essentially jovial—even jocular—album. The drummer assembled a dozen of his musical colleagues to celebrate his wife Felicia, who died of leukemia two years ago. “Flowers For Felicia” and “July Hymn,” are instances of quiet remembrance amid 17 tracks that embrace the keen musicianship, spontaneity and humor (often raucous) that are core elements of Wilson’s musical and personal style. ...

5

Performance / Tour

Renowned Jazz Drummer Matt Wilson's Christmas Tree-O Embarks On 16 Days Of Christmas North American Tour Holiday Music As You've Never Heard It Before

Renowned Jazz Drummer Matt Wilson's Christmas Tree-O  Embarks On 16 Days Of Christmas North American Tour  Holiday Music As You've Never Heard It Before

Source: Braithwaite & Katz Communications

Performances November 30-December 23 in Santa Cruz, Arcata, Davis and San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; Vancouver, BC; St. Louis, MO and NYC 4-stars. “Matt Wilson's Christmas Tree-O provides Yuletide greetings so eloquent and mind-bending even the nastiest of Scrooges will want to pay attention." —DownBeat Legendary jazz drummer Matt Wilson—“an ambassador of good feeling” (NY Times)—brings us on a joyful and adventurous romp through holiday music with Matt Wilson’s Christmas Tree-O during their 16 Days of Christmas North American Tour ...

1

Performance / Tour

Jazz This Week: Matt Wilson's Christmas Tree-O, "A Very Manley Christmas," Cornet Chop Suey, Alarm Will Sound, And More

Jazz This Week: Matt Wilson's Christmas Tree-O, "A Very Manley Christmas," Cornet Chop Suey, Alarm Will Sound, And More

Source: St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman

As you might expect, this week's calendar of jazz and creative music in St. Louis features plenty of seasonal sounds, but there also are a variety of other offerings, ranging stylistically from traditional jazz to free improv, for those seeking an audio alternative. Let”s go to the highlights... Thursday, December 11  New music ensemble Alarm Will Sound* performs their final show of 2014 at the Sheldon Concert Hall, presenting the world premiere of the complete score of Irish composer Donnacha ...

Performance / Tour

Jazz This Week: Roscoe Mitchell and Craig Taborn, Joey Defrancesco Trio, Matt Wilson's Christmas Tree-O, and More

Jazz This Week: Roscoe Mitchell and Craig Taborn, Joey Defrancesco Trio, Matt Wilson's Christmas Tree-O, and More

Source: St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman

As 2014 marches inexorably toward its conclusion, it's shaping up to be  another busy week for jazz and creative music in St. Louis. This week's noteworthy performances include a visit from one of the top jazz organists in the business; the long-awaited return of a major jazz innovator, in duo with one of today's most in-demand keyboardists; plus a whole lot of holiday-themed jazz, and more. Let's go to the highlights.... Tonight, organist Joey DeFrancesco and his trio return to ...

Performance / Tour

Jazz This Week: Matt Wilson Quartet with John Medeski, Bonerama, Dave Easley, and More

Jazz This Week: Matt Wilson Quartet with John Medeski, Bonerama, Dave Easley, and More

Source: St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman

While winter weather has delayed one of this week's headliners for a day, there's still plenty of live jazz and creative music happening in and around St. Louis for those willing to get out and brave the cold. Let's go to the highlights... If it weren't for the big snowstorm hitting the East Coast, tonight would have been the first of four nights featuring drummer Matt Wilson's quartet with special guest pianist John Medeski at Jazz at the Bistro. However, ...

Video / DVD

STLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Spotlight on Matt Wilson

STLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Spotlight on Matt Wilson

Source: St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman

Today, let's spend some time with drummer and bandleader Matt Wilson, who will be in St. Louis with his quartet and special guest pianist John Medeski to perform next Wednesday, January 22 through Saturday, January 25 at Jazz at the Bistro. Wilson, who grew up in Knoxville, IL, has played in St. Louis a number of times in recent years, including last year at the Bistro with clarinetist Anat Cohen to kick off the 2013 Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival. ...

Performance / Tour

Jazz This Week: Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival with Anat Cohen, Matt Wilson, Doc Severinsen, Monterey Jazz Festival 55th Anniversary Tour; and More

Jazz This Week: Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival with Anat Cohen, Matt Wilson, Doc Severinsen, Monterey Jazz Festival 55th Anniversary Tour; and More

Source: St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman

While this week's big event for jazz and creative music in St. Louis is the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival, featuring a number of nationally known touring musicians, there also are plenty of noteworthy performances featuring local players coming up in the next few days. Let's go to the highlights... Tonight, singer Mary Dyson and pianist Brock Walker's trio will play at Troy's Jazz Gallery; Cabaret Project St. Louis presents their monthly open mic night at the Tavern of Fine ...

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band / ensemble / orchestra

Photos

Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Magic Light

Origin Records
2024

buy

Panoply

Sunnyside Records
2024

buy

Good Trouble

Palmetto Records
2024

buy

Live at The Cafe...

Giant Step Arts
2023

buy

Schoenberg on the...

Little (i) Music
2023

buy

Air

LAIKA Records
2022

buy

We Rise

From: Magic Light
By Matt Wilson

Leap of Faith

From: Live at The Cafe Bohemia
By Matt Wilson

Lullabluebye

From: Frank Kimbrough 2003 - 2006
By Matt Wilson

(Give Me Some) G-String

From: Air
By Matt Wilson

Mean What You Say

From: My Astorian Queen
By Matt Wilson

Aspiration

From: Kaleidoscope
By Matt Wilson

Hug

From: Hug!
By Matt Wilson

Knit Wit

From: Hypocrisy Democracy
By Matt Wilson

Bringers

From: Honey And Salt
By Matt Wilson

Beginning of a Memory

From: Beginning of A Memory
By Matt Wilson

No Outerwear

From: An Attitude For Gratitude
By Matt Wilson

Winter Wonderland

From: Matt Wilson's Christmas Tree-O
By Matt Wilson

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