Matt Wilson!


Arts and Crafts

It is only through players like these, who can simultaneously be serious and have fun, that the music will continue to grow, remain alive and thrive into its second century. — Patrick Hinely CODA


I assembled this stellar cast to play on a record project I was doing for Palmetto Records. I wanted to do something with a different instrumentation than the Matt Wilson Quartet. I also wanted to have the opportunity to records tunes I had stored in my “want to record someday” file. The date also challenged me to compose pieces that stretched the “classic”  jazz quartet instrumentation.

I knew that I wanted Dennis Irwin on the bass. His sound and feel is a drummer’s dream. This is evident in his highly regarded performances with Art Blakey and Mel Lewis. I had only played with trumpeter Terell Stafford once prior to the recording. It was so easy to play music with him. The experience convinced me that his not only his musicianship, but his presence, provides a spiritual uplifting to any band in which he is involved.  Larry Goldings played organ on my debut recording As Wave Follows Wave but is an exceptional pianist. I believe he is simply one of the greatest musicians of his generation. He passionately communicates through music at so many levels.

I was not surprised when the results were remarkable. A short rehearsal and a 5 1/2 record date produced music that was fresh, spirited and full of life. It flowed without effort. All that and a mere 36 hours earlier my wife and I learned we were having triplets!

Press Propaganda

Arts & Crafts Review - Green Mill, Chicago

On Saturday night, I am pretty sure that I heard a drumset sing. At least, that’s the only way that I can think of describing it. I clearly heard notes coaxed from toms, a snare drum handled with extraordinary subtlety, and cymbal work that was simply masterful, energetic and busy but not overbearing. This melodic approach was in no way gimmicky, it struck me as a manifestation of understanding the real voice of the instrument.

On Saturday night, I was at the Green Mill. The drummer in question was Matt Wilson. His quartet, Arts and Crafts, featured Ron Miles ...

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The New Low Down Review of Arts and Crafts

22 April 2007
Show: Matt Wilson’s Arts and Crafts
Friday, April 20, 2007 @ The Blue Room

Despite the cover charge and bar tab, it felt more like a house party.

Matt Wilson’s Arts & Crafts played three solid sets of top-shelf jazz last Friday at the Blue Room. In the two long breaks in between, the band milled among the tables glad-handing the well-wishers. Arts & Crafts trumpeter Terrell Stafford chatted with local pianist and singer Pamela Baskin-Watson. Local bassist Gerald Spaits worked the room. The Folly’s Doug Tatum hung out in a corner with Columbia promoter Jon Poses ...

Read More Review of Wake Up!

Matt Wilson continues his unique streak of drummer-led albums with Wake Up! (To What’s Happening), a set that touches upon Cuban carnival, swinging post-bop, and swirling psychedelica. He is assisted admirably by Larry Goldings on piano and organ, Terell Stafford on trumpet and flugelhorn, Dennis Irwin on bass and clarinet, and guest vocalist Curtis Stigers who makes his presence felt mightily on the Tony Williams penned “There Comes a Time”.

Unique among drummer-leaders, Wilson is a finesse player, quiet and understated, giving plenty of room to his fellow bandmates. No Blakey, Elvin, or Williams, Wilson glides his way through ...

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More Reviews


Matt Wilson Arts & Crafts @ APAP showcase

Matt Wilson's Arts & Crafts - Feel the Sway

Silly Fact