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


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Take Five With...
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People CD/LP/Track Review This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Nigerian Spirit CD/LP/Track Review Nigerian Spirit
by James Nadal
Published: May 29, 2017
Read The Colours Suite CD/LP/Track Review The Colours Suite
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960 CD/LP/Track Review Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Chapter Five CD/LP/Track Review Chapter Five
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 28, 2017
Read The Hive CD/LP/Track Review The Hive
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "Mundo" CD/LP/Track Review Mundo
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: July 30, 2016
Read "Montréal" CD/LP/Track Review Montréal
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 11, 2017
Read "Coalesce" CD/LP/Track Review Coalesce
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "In Love With" CD/LP/Track Review In Love With
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: July 25, 2016
Read "A Result of the Colors" CD/LP/Track Review A Result of the Colors
by Tyran Grillo
Published: June 8, 2016
Read "Cinema Spiral" CD/LP/Track Review Cinema Spiral
by John Sharpe
Published: August 9, 2016

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!