Steve Wilson To Record Long-Awaited Live Album At The Village Vanguard
Steve Wilson to Record Long-Awaited Live Album at The Village Vanguard
Upcoming May 20th-25th Concerts will Feature His Core Band ‘Wilsonian's Grain’, with Orrin Evans, Ugonna Okegwo and Bill Stewart
On May 20 through 25, acclaimed jazz saxophonist Steve Wilson will return to The Village Vanguard in NYC – and, on the final two days of the visit (May 24th and 25th,) record a long-awaited live album, featuring his core band ‘Wilsonian's Grain’ with Orrin Evans, Ugonna Okegwo and Bill Stewart.
The uniqueness of Wilsonian's Grain is in the repertoire of Wilson originals, tunes from each member of the band, and the off-the-beaten-path tunes they play. Their interpretations of this repertoire, from this wonderfully disparate mixture of influences that each musician brings to the stage, are performed with absolute abandon and great sense of adventure. Steve plans to play and record material he's writing for the occasion, as well as "Well You Needn't (Monk), the tone poem "Santa Catarina" (Pascoal Hermeto), "Patterns" (Joe Chambers) and "If I Were a Wind of Spring," by the young composer Migiwa Miyajima.
Wilson talks about the upcoming album, which is likely to emerge as a career-defining classic: "I'm excited to be doing this recording that will document a number of firsts for me: first time doing a live recording as a leader, first time recording in the historic Village Vanguard, and first time to record Wilsonian's Grain. I love working with these great friends whose creativity and music making are always a thrill ride for me and the audience." Steve Wilson
Other key upcoming Steve Wilson News/events:
- May 3rd concert at Side Door Jazz in Old Lyme, CT - with Wilsonian's Grain. http://thesidedoorjazz.com/
- Duo recording with Lewis Nash is due out in July. Additional release details will be announced soon; project details below.
- May 13-18 – Wilson will be at Jazz Standard with the Grammy-winning Gil Evans Project under the direction of Ryan Truesdell. They will be recording live there all week, and will perform more never-before-heard Evans arrangements.
- In August, Wilson will be in the studio with the Grammy-award winning Maria Schneider Orchestra.
In addition to his upcoming Village Vanguard Live Recording, Wilson --widely known as an acclaimed bandleader, in-demand sideman, educator, jazz historian, critics’ favorite and all-around good guy -- recently completed recording a duo album with long-time colleague Lewis Nash, at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild in Pittsburgh. Wilson and 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."
"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
Wilson was also recently in the recording studio with several other notables: with Billy Childs for his project, Reimagining Laura Nyro, on the Sony label; as a special guest on Gerry Gibbs' recording with Kenny Barron and Ron Carter; and with the rising Canadian star Chantale Gagne, her quartet recording with Peter Washington and Lewis Nash.
A series of prestigious announcements followed Wilson in 2013:
Yamaha 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 was 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 http://www.npr.org/event/music/166127626/wilson-rosnes-washington-live-at-the-village-vanguard
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.