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Matt Wilson

Flexible, subtle drummer Matt Wilson gained a strong reputation with his debut recording as a leader, a 1996 set for Palmetto that prominently featured tenor saxophonist Dewey Redman. Wilson started playing drums in grade school; he studied at Wichita State University and spent time in the Midwest, both as a freelancer and as a teacher. In 1987 he moved to Boston, where he was soon playing with the Either/Orchestra and the Charlie Kohlhase Quintet. In 1992 Wilson relocated to New York, where he played with Redman, Cecil McBee, Lee Konitz, Fred Hersch, Tim Hagans, Ingrid Jensen, and others, appearing on a couple dozen records as a sideman. Headlining dates during the '90s includes 1998's Going Once, Going Twice and 1999's Smile.

In 2001, he released Arts & Crafts, his first album showcasing his Arts & Crafts ensemble with trumpeter Terell Stafford and pianist Larry Goldings. After releasing another quartet album with 2003's Humidity, Wilson returned to his Arts & Crafts ensemble with 2004's Wake Up! (To What's Happening). He stuck with the same group for The Scenic Route, released in 2007, the same year that Big Picture was issued on the Cryptogramophone label by Trio M, a freewheeling collaborative group featuring Wilson along with pianist Myra Melford and bassist Mark Dresser.

In 2009, Wilson returned to his own quartet lineup for That's Gonna Leave a Mark, followed by the holiday-themed Matt Wilson's Christmas Tree-O in 2010. A year later, he appeared on the Trio M album Guest House. He then returned to his Arts & Crafts ensemble with the album An Attitude for Gratitude. In 2014, Wilson stayed busy pairing with pianist John Medeski for Gathering Call and backing singer/pianist Dena DeRose on We Won't Forget You: An Homage to Shirley Horn. He also joined pianist Denny Zeitlin for Stairway to the Stars.

Tragically, in 2014 Wilson lost his wife, the violinist and teacher Felicia Wilson, who died after a four-year battle with leukemia. Two years later, Wilson celebrated her life with the album Beginning of a Memory, featuring his Big Happy Family group with trumpeter Stafford, cornetist Kirk Knuffke, saxophonist Joel Frahm, pianist Gary Versace, and others. ~ Scott Yanow
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Arts and Crafts

1. Stompin' Grounds

2. Lester

3. Webb City

4. Beija Flor

5. Final Answer

6. There's No You

7. Arts & Crafts

8. Old Gospel

9. Love Walked In

10. All Through the Night

x

Track List: Going Once, Going Twice

1. Searchlight

2. Chit Chatting

3. Hey There

4. Request Potato

5. Going Once, Going Twice

6. Brattleboro

7. Land Of Lincoln

8. Andrew's Ditty

9. The Blossoms

10. School Boy Thug

11. Turn, Turn, Turn

12. Bonus Track

x

Track List: As Wave Follows Wave

1. Free Range Chicken

2. Bingo

3. Blue Pepper (Far East Of The Blues)

4. Old Porch Swing

5. Tiny Prarie Landscape

6. I Remember Lona

7. As Wave Follows Wave

8. Nice Colors

9. Body And Soul

10. Sweet Betsy From Pike

11. July Hymn (For Don Cherry)

12. Mr. Zimmerman's Farm

Comments

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Hung out with him for a couple weeks in litchfield. Fun loving incredible man
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Wow, this is great!
Report as inappropriate
I can't say enough about Matt's playing...i get it...saw him live and it was amazing...ne v e r seen/heard drums float on the music like that

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