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Jazz Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Matt Wilson’s Big Happy Family: Beginning of A Memory

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For this mostly retrospective session drummer/composer Matt Wilson convened all of the members--past and present--of his longest established groups: the Matt Wilson Quartet, Arts & Crafts, and Christmas Tree-O. So it's not only a larger ensemble than usual, but also a melding of the different stylistic focuses represented by those projects. There are 13 players altogether, and although they don't all play on everything, most of them play on most of the tracks. The core group included all five horn ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Matt Wilson’s Big Happy Family: Beginning of A Memory

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It's easy to imagine the phone calls, drummer Matt Wilson made, using his best imitation of Elwood from the 1980 Blues Brothers movie, “We're putting the band back together, we're on a mission from God." And like that, current members and alumni of the drummer's bands: the Matt Wilson Quartet, Arts & Crafts, and Christmas Tree-O assembled to commune and revisit the music Wilson's late wife Felicia loved.This recording was Wilson's first since he lost his wife to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Matt Wilson Quartet + John Medeski: Gathering Call

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Drummer Matt Wilson is certainly mercurial. Not only can he be found playing in all manner and format, working with everyone from Myra Melford to John Zorn to Elvis Costello, he regularly leads two quartets: Arts & Crafts, and this one, featuring roiling windman Jeff Lederer, cornetist Kirk Knuffke} and bassist Chris Lightcap. Augmented here by ubiquitous Boston-based pianist John Medeski, the MWQ turns in a diverse brace of tunes, held together by sequencing and two throat-clearers, the title track ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Matt Wilson Quartet: Gathering Call

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Other than leading his Arts & Crafts and Quartet ensembles, drummer Matt Wilson may be among the most recorded jazz session drummers of recent times. With guest pianist John Medeski, the ensemble delves into a set consisting of Wilson originals and a mixed bag of pop and jazz tunes, penned by diverse artists such as Beyonce,' Duke Ellington, Butch Warren, Hugh Lawson and others. Nonetheless, the musicians swing hard and enact a few classic jazz type blowing fests. And they ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Matt Wilson Quartet + John Medeski: Gathering Call

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Drummer Matt Wilson may define the ideal of unabashed enthusiasm better than anyone else in jazz. His cymbals and drums even seem to be smiling when he sets sticks to them, so it should come as no shock that musical zeal is a key factor in the success of Gathering Call. For his eleventh album as a leader, this musical ray of positive energy called on his quartet and added an important guest to the mix; he reunited with his ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Matt Wilson Quartet + John Medeski: Gathering Call

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When he is not occupying the drum chair of one of dozens of bands that he is called upon to inject with his contagious effervescence, drummer Matt Wilson can be found leading his two bands, Arts & Crafts and the Matt Wilson Quartet. Both quartets feature stellar bassists, Arts & Crafts--Martin Wind and here, Chris Lightcap. Where the former employs the talents of pianist/organist Gary Versace, the Quartet sails without keys. That is, until Wilson invites John Medeski as a ...

INTERVIEWS

Matt Wilson: Have Drums, Will Travel

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Drummer Matt Wilson must surely be in the running for the title of hardest-working man in jazz. Wilson is a composer, bandleader, producer and teacher. As a leader, his projects include the Matt Wilson Quartet, Arts & Crafts, Christmas Tree-O and the Carl Sandburg Project. He has been in bands with luminaries such as Joe Lovano, John Scofield, Charlie Haden, Lee Konitz, Ted Nash and many, many others. As for legends, he's played with Herbie Hancock, Dewey Redman, Andrew Hill, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Matt Wilson's Arts And Crafts: An Attitude For Gratitude

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Drummer Matt Wilson may be the supreme human confluence of technique, swing, spirit, humor and musicality. Over the past 20 years, Wilson has proven to be one of a select few that can balance an inside/outside aesthetic, often within a single piece of music. He has helped shape the music of Dewey Redman, Charlie Haden, Either/Orchestra, Lee Konitz, Denny Zeitlin and many others, but his own body of recorded work highlights his unique personality and musical perspective better than any ...


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