235

Matt Wilson's Arts and Crafts: The Scenic Route

By

Sign in to view read count
It's early summer, the sky is clear and warm, and you're half-reclined behind the wheel of a white, American-made convertible, cruising smoothly down the highway. Suddenly you notice that you've drifted off onto the wrong exit ramp. In order to right your blunder, you have to navigate a service road littered with zany, brightly colored bric-a-brac. You finally make it back to the main stretch, but you're doomed to repeat your folly nine more times before the end of your trip.

Were this to actually happen to you, you might have a sense of what it's like to take a journey across the ten tracks on this delightfully seriocomic release from Matt Wilson's Arts and Crafts group. The ten cuts on The Scenic Route are straight-ahead stretches of jazz that whimsically yo-yo the listener onto a service road of quirky sounds and rhythms. These forays are playful and experimental, yet tangible and agreeable. They're much as one would imagine a musical session of arts and crafts to be among a crew of adept musicians.

The inter-musician listening on The Scenic Route is what makes the album sophisticated, in addition to playful—all experiments are treated as serious musical ideas and are encouraged to follow the course to their conclusion. On top of this is Wilson's knack for composition. The bandleader takes advantage of the rare qualities (for a percussionist, anyway) of melodic cleverness and sensitivity. This isn't only communicated in the album's catchy heads—"The Scenic Route," "Feel the Sway," "25 Years of Rootabagas"—but also in Wilson's improvisations, which mold the drum set into the band's fourth melodic instrument.

In the end, the band is tight and the soloists are hot. Wilson's car is alone on the road—not in desertion, but because he seems to be the only one with the acumen to find the way. For anyone wanting a ride, he's picking up passengers as he goes. All you have to do to catch a lift is put on The Scenic Route and feel the sway.

Track Listing: The Scenic Route; We See; 25 Years of Rootabagas; Feel the Sway; Rejoicing; The Bat; In Touch with Dewey; Little B's Poem; Tenderly; Our Prayer/Give Peace a Chance.

Personnel: Matt Wilson: drums, percussion, vocals; Terell Stafford: trumpet, flugelhorn; Gary Versace: piano, organ, accordion; Dennis Irwin: double bass, clarinet; Karlie Bruce, Ayana Del Valle, Elizabeth Dotson-Westphalen: vocals.

Title: The Scenic Route | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Palmetto Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Bringers

Bringers

Matt Wilson
Honey And Salt

Beginning of a Memory

Beginning of a Memory

Matt Wilson
Beginning of A Memory

No Outerwear

No Outerwear

Matt Wilson
An Attitude For Gratitude

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

Matt Wilson
Matt Wilson's Christmas Tree-O

Album Reviews
Year in Review
Album Reviews
Year in Review
Album Reviews
Interviews
Album Reviews
Megaphone
Read more articles
Honey And Salt

Honey And Salt

Palmetto Records
2017

buy
Beginning of A Memory

Beginning of A Memory

Palmetto Records
2016

buy
Gathering Call

Gathering Call

Palmetto Records
2014

buy
Gathering Call

Gathering Call

Palmetto Records
2013

buy
WeBop: A Family Jazz Party

WeBop: A Family Jazz...

Jazz At Lincoln Center
2012

buy
An Attitude For Gratitude

An Attitude For...

Palmetto Records
2012

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Jul14Sun
Matt Wilson's Honey And Salt
Dinkelspiel Auditorium
Stanford, CA
$15-62
Jul17Wed
The Dayna Stephens Perspective
Dinkelspiel Auditorium
Stanford, CA
$15-43
Oct12Sat
Matt Wilson
Shank Hall
Milwaukee, WI

Related Articles

Read Play The Bird And The Bee Album Reviews
Play The Bird And The Bee
By Dan Bilawsky
June 15, 2019
Read Appleblueseagreen Album Reviews
Appleblueseagreen
By Dan McClenaghan
June 15, 2019
Read The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings Album Reviews
The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings
By Doug Collette
June 15, 2019
Read Arc Album Reviews
Arc
By John Eyles
June 15, 2019
Read In The Face Of Chaos Album Reviews
In The Face Of Chaos
By Dan Bilawsky
June 14, 2019
Read Time Changes Album Reviews
Time Changes
By Karl Ackermann
June 14, 2019
Read Blacks And Blues Album Reviews
Blacks And Blues
By Chris May
June 14, 2019