357

Steve Wilson: Passages

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
Steve Wilson: Passages Among some talented peers that would have to include Kenny Garrett and Jon Gordon, Steve Wilson is arguably one of the best alto saxophonists on the scene today. But it goes beyond that, because he has also established a unique approach to the soprano saxophone as well as the flute. Following his four decidedly mainstream affairs for Criss Cross and his first effort for Stretch, Generations, Wilson's sophomore release for Chick Corea's imprimatur is surely his most realized project yet as a leader. Both in his writing and playing, not to mention the company he keeps, Wilson has arrived at a mature and stimulating apex that fulfills the potential that has been evident in his work since his debut in the mid-80s.

. There is much variety to be found here, although Wilson manages to present this well-rounded picture without the whole sounding like a disjointed and patchwork quilt. The three tracks featuring Nicholas Payton cover quite a range in themselves, from the bop-inflected "Turnin' the Corner" to the expansive "Q-B-Rab." The latter starts with a funk groove only to develop into sections of swing and free moments with Payton's trumpet and Wilson's alto exchanging explosive banter.

An agreeable bossa/Latin influence can be felt elsewhere, with Adam Cruz adding percussion to his trap set work. "Song for Anna" features Wilson's pensive flute on a nimble melody, supported beautifully by Bruce Barth's use of a Fender Rhodes electric piano. The Rhodes shows up again for Keith Jarrett's classic "Days and Nights Waiting." The short interludes "Roots and Herbs" and "Wilsonian's Grain" are essentially percussion workouts that create a tasty segue between the other tunes.

The integration of the ensemble is particularly strong, although Wilson gets the lion's share of the solo spotlight. As strapping as his work is throughout, it might have been nice to hear a bit more from Payton and Barth. Regardless, Passages is prime Wilson and bodes well of his staying power and future development as an artist.


Track Listing: Turnin

Personnel: Steve Wilson: alto and soprano saxophones, flute and alto flute, percussion; Nicholas Payton: trumpet (1, 4, 6); Bruce Barth: piano & Fender Rhodes; Ed Howard: bass, Adam Cruz: drums and percussion.

| Record Label: Concord Music Group | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Early Americans" CD/LP/Track Review Early Americans
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: May 30, 2016
Read "Oddara" CD/LP/Track Review Oddara
by James Nadal
Published: October 15, 2016
Read "Sureste" CD/LP/Track Review Sureste
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: October 2, 2016
Read "Pássaros: The Foundation of the Island" CD/LP/Track Review Pássaros: The Foundation of the Island
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: July 6, 2016
Read "Wheel of Time" CD/LP/Track Review Wheel of Time
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 6, 2016
Read "Los Guachos V" CD/LP/Track Review Los Guachos V
by Budd Kopman
Published: July 1, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!