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Renown Jazz Saxophonist Steve Wilson Reveals Plans For Long-awaited New Albums -- Two Distinct CDs To Be Recorded In 2014
February 24, 2014
Steve Wilson to Release Two New Albums
Renown jazz saxophonist Steve Wilson reveals plans for long-awaited new albums -- Two distinct CDs to be recorded in 2014.
Wilson, widely known as an acclaimed bandleader, in-demand sideman, educator, jazz historian, critics’ favorite and all-around good guy, has confirmed recording dates in March and in May: First up will be a duo album with long-time colleague Lewis Nash, with recording sessions to be completed on March 11 in Pittsburgh, at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild. Then, in May, Wilson will record what is likely to emerge as a career-defining classic -- a ‘Live at the Village Vanguard’ album, accompanied by Wilson’s ‘working quartet,’ Wilsonian’s Grain (Orrin Evans, Ugonna Okegwo and Bill Stewart.)
As for the March sessions, Wilson and Lewis Nash have a long history of collaboration. Wilson comments: “From the first time I heard Lewis I wanted to play with him, which didn't happen until a few years after. We hear rhythm and melody much the same, so it's like two people playing with one brain. Our performances are like flying without a net and we constantly surprise even ourselves, but it's as natural as breathing. This duo is an entity, not a novelty or diversion, and those who have heard us really get that.”
Nash adds: "I played in a saxophone and drums duo setting back in the late 70's and always wanted to revisit that context. I had not encountered the right "kindred musical soul" to do it with though, until I met Steve Wilson. We have very similar conceptions of rhythm, melody, phrasing, shape and dynamics. In fact, so many spontaneous and simultaneous musical moments happen when we play that I'm often laughing during our performances! It's always a joyful experience when we make music together."
More about Wilson and Nash, and the evolution of this album recording:
There are no two better musicians on the jazz scene today to form a saxophone and drum duo than STEVE WILSON and LEWIS NASH. They are two instrumentalists whose playing is richly steeped in the history of jazz; and, they are leaders of their generation in continually charting new courses and moving jazz forward. This unique concept of saxophone and drum duo is an unconventional format that is not tackled by many musicians. But, when you pair together two musicians who have a long history together, share like musical concepts, and who have a natural chemistry, you have all the elements for incredible, spontaneous and creative jazz improvisation. Their performances explore jazz standards while creating a fresh new repertoire, and offer an intimate peek into the creative process.
Their premiere performance took place at The Loft at Quilty’s in NYC in 2001. They have performed at Sweet Rhythm in NYC, The Pointe Cultural Center in Kinderhook, NY, The Colony Café in Woodstock, NY, and The Williams Center for the Arts at Lafayette College in Easton, PA, St. Michael’s College in Burlington, VT, The Vermont Jazz Center in Brattleboro, VT, and recently, a series of sold-out concerts in Orvieto, Italy. In March of 2013, they performed two sold out sets at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild in Pittsburgh. The performances were recorded and will be released on the MCG Jazz label in the near future.
It has long been the desire of both Wilson and Nash to record this very special duo, the right opportunity presented itself with the concert in March 2013 at Manchester Craftmen’s Guild. A room with great acoustics and a long, rich history in jazz, Marty Ashby, Executive Producer at MCG Jazz, was immediately enthusiastic about the idea. The concerts were confirmed, and now Wilson and Nash have prepared new pieces that will appear on the recording, which they will finish next month, again at MCG Jazz.
"There are only a select few musicians that have the musicianship and historical context to sustain a full program with just sax and drums. Working with Lewis and Steve on this unique project fits perfectly with the mission of MCG Jazz to showcase and bring the finest Jazz Music to the public eye." Marty Ashby, VP & Executive Producer, MCG Jazz
Here are highlights from Steve Wilson's upcoming schedule:
March 8, Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash Duo, Michiko Studios, NYC - Tickets are $15, there are only 30 seats in the house! The first 15 ticket buyers will receive a free download of the debut recording of Steve Wilson Lewis Nash Duo when it is released, and a signed poster. The second 15 ticket buyers will receive a signed poster. http://www.robertoswinds.com/view_product.php?prod_id=10143
March 14 & 15, with Maria Schneider Orchestra, Allen Room, Jazz at Lincoln Center, NYC
April 7, Artist In Residence, New Jersey CIty University, Jersey City, NJ
April 11, with Billy Childs Quartet, Jazz Nad Odra festival, Wroclaw, Poland
May 3, Wilsonian's Grain with Orrin Evans, Ugonna Okegwo and Bill Stewart at Side Door Jazz, Old Lyme, CT http://thesidedoorjazz.com/
May 8-10, with Maria Schneider Orchestra, Birdland, NYC
May 13-18, with Ryan Truesdell's Gil Evans Project, Live Recording at Jazz Standard, NYC
May 20 - 25, Wilsonian's Grain with Orrin Evans, Ugonna Okegwo and Bill Stewart at The Village Vanguard, NYC - LIVE RECORDING!!
A series of prestigious announcements followed Wilson in 2013:
Yamaha has signed him to join their elite family of artists -- “Having Steve Wilson on our team is a dream come true for Yamaha. His artistic mastery as a performer and educator, are second to none. It is truly our honor to call Steve Wilson a Yamaha Performing Artist.” - John Wittmann, Director, Artist Relations, Yamaha Artist Services Indianapolis
In addition, Wilson is proud to accept an Associate Professorship at The City College of New York (CCNY) in Harlem, NY. The position includes teaching ensembles, classes, and guiding the jazz department as they further develop the jazz curriculum. Wilson began the full-time, tenure-track position, in September 2013. He joins an illustrious faculty including Adam Cruz, Mike Holober, Scott Reeves and Ray Gallon.
On August 13th, 2013, Steve was Music Director for a Celebration of Mulgrew Miller at Dizzy's Club Coca Cola at the invitation of Jazz at Lincoln Center. The evening featured Miller's band Wingspan, of which Wilson was a long-time member, with Steve Nelson, Duane Eubanks, Richie Goods and Rodney Green. A number of pianists also paid tribute: Johnnie O'Neal, Kenny Barron, Cyrus Chestnut, Matthew Fries, Sullivan Fortner, Chris Pattishall, Anthony Wonsey and Bill Charlap. Among the other 24 musicians who appeared during the evening, Russell Malone, Joe Lovano, Wallace Roney, and Javon Jackson. The music featured favorite tunes written by Miller, and tunes he loved to play. Miller's family and many, many friends were in attendance.
As always, Wilson’s busy schedule of touring, collaboration and guest appearances continues. Visit http://www.stevewilsonmusic.com/
Wilson, one of the most most respected and acclaimed musicians in the business, recently spoke with ALL ABOUT JAZZ regarding what he perceives as a crisis in Music Education. Read the engaging article, here: http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=44834&pg=1#.Udw88zlblUQ
Here’s a recent WBGO interview with Gary Walker:
Wilson’s 12/12 visit to the Village Vanguard yielded a live concert broadcast on NPR, a full-page feature in the NY Daily News (written by Greg Thomas,) a stellar Time Out NY Photo Preview Pick, and more:
NY DAILY NEWS
FULL-PAGE INTERVIEW FEATURE by Greg Thomas, 12/3/12
Steve Wilson is known as a super-professional sideman, but now he takes the lead at the Village Vanguard
NPR MUSIC – Live Broadcast of Village Vanguard concert, 12/5/12
TIME OUT NY – Color Photo Critic’s Pick
Time Out says: Whether he's the leader or a sideman in a given situation, seeing Steve Wilson's name on a jazz bill is as close to a guarantee of quality as you'll ever find. Like so many sax greats before him have done, Wilson hits the Vanguard with a trio—but there's a catch. He's working with pianist Renee Rosnes and bassist Peter Washington, no drums allowed. Expect chamber jazz of the most soulful sort.
Here’s a story re Steve Wilson’s 2013 performance in Gainesville.
GAINESVILLE SUN – Interview feature,
1/25/13, by Bill Dean
Wilson earned saturation media coverage for his 50th Birthday celebration at New York’s Jazz Standard. He featured six different bands over six nights, and each set during the birthday week saw lines out the door. The diverse shows each reflected a different stage of Wilson’s evolution into what NPR describe as “one of the finest saxophonists in the business.”
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
NY CULTURE - FEBRUARY 7, 2011 - By LARRY BLUMENFELD
At http://www.stevewilsonmusic.com/, visitors can get updates, sample new tunes and see performance footage. The site, part of the Jazz Corner family, also includes a streaming audio player, details of Wilson's numerous band configurations, and more.