215

Dave Wilson Quartet: Spiral

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
Dave Wilson Quartet: Spiral Saxophonist Dave Wilson was previously a member of two Dave Stahl groups, also playing with the likes of Wynton Marsalis, Tom Harrell, Lew Soloff and Conrad Herwig and studying with the great Joe Lovano. The New York native has released two previous collections as a leader, and is actively immersed in music as both an educator and a business person. Wilson's compositions and covers reflect an eclectic approach, featuring ballads, Latin influences, free improvisation and mainstream jazz. Wilson's and his quartet may well have produced their breakout effort with Spiral; a potpourri of jazz styles from sometimes unlikely sources, it nevertheless flows and holds together, thanks to the multiple skills of Wilson and his band.

The opening title track—appropriate to its name—does, indeed, spiral, jump and swing. Wilson's feverishly fast attack is matched by Phil Markowitz's blistering piano solos as the two set the improvisational tone for much of Spiral. The Richie Beirach masterpiece, "Elm," demonstrates Wilson's arranging skills, as he takes this complex piece to a place unique from the original. With its Latin approach and slower tempo, "Ocean Blue" represents a change of pace; Wilson's tenor and Markowitz dominate but, in the quieter surroundings, it is a good place to note the nuanced expertise of veteran drummer Adam Nussbaum, who guides and subtly shifts the rhythm throughout.

Perhaps the best display of Wilson's arranging skills are heard on the barely recognizable Grateful Dead classic, "Friend of the Devil." More up-tempo than the original (as opposed to The Dead's ubiquitous live versions), Wilson's rippling soprano bookends some great solo work from Markowitz, while bassist Tony Marino has sufficient space to platform his virtuosity. Always nearby in the mix, Marino doesn't break out often, but provides a deep, steady and creative backdrop for the saxophonist and pianist. Perhaps the most energized piece in the collection, Creed's "My Own Prison" is another standout rock cover, with Wilson's tenor at its gritty best. That rough-edged but fluid mood continues through "Movin' On," Wilson's self-described favorite piece on Spiral.

Should it appear that cover arrangements are the highlights of Spiral, rest assured that they are just part of the overall package. Wilson's own contributions account for more than half the numbers and they measure up across the board. Whether the focus is on melody or free improvisation, Wilson is more than up to the task and could not have found a more empathetic collaborator than Markowitz. Spiral is an inventive, high-energy collection with a number of very accessible compositions that should propel Wilson's career as a leader.


Track Listing: Spiral; Elm; Ocean Blue; Friend of the Devil; Summer Breezes; My Own Prison; Movin' On; Like GS 2; Remembering; Francisca; (You're the) Biggest Part of Me.

Personnel: Dave Wilson: tenor and soprano saxophone; Phil Markowitz: piano; Tony Marino: bass; Adam Nussbaum: drums

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Summit Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Take Five With...
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Buck Hill Buck Hill
sax, tenor
Kayle Brecher Kayle Brecher
vocalist
Tom Tallitsch Tom Tallitsch
sax, tenor
Greg Tardy Greg Tardy
sax, tenor
Norah Jones Norah Jones
piano
Joel Harrison Joel Harrison
guitar, electric
John McNeil John McNeil
trumpet
Paul Ahlstrand Paul Ahlstrand
sax, tenor

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
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 "Dobbeltgaenger" CD/LP/Track Review Dobbeltgaenger
by John Sharpe
Published: August 8, 2016
Read "Néo" CD/LP/Track Review Néo
by James Nadal
Published: April 13, 2016
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 27, 2016
Read "In Movement" CD/LP/Track Review In Movement
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 4, 2016
Read "The Pauper And The Magician" CD/LP/Track Review The Pauper And The Magician
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 17, 2017
Read "All Terrain Guitar" CD/LP/Track Review All Terrain Guitar
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 31, 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!