Matt Wilson!



Album Cover for Smile

Matt’s 3rd CD on Palmetto Records features Andrew D’Angelo on alto sax and bass clarinet, Joel Frahm on tenor and soprano saxes and Yosuke Inoue on electric bass.

This CD includes originals by both Wilson and D’Angelo along with Monk and Coltrane.

“...chock full of music that should bring happiness to even the most sour and dour avant mavens.” - Michael Nastos, All Music Guide

“In the hands of lesser men, this type of cheeky humor might prove annoying, but Wilson and crew display a vibrancy that never comes off as self-serving. This band is for real.” -

For his third CD, drummer Wilson and his quartet are all over the improvisational landscape, and they are having a good time doing it. Saxophone histrionics, frantic passages, introspective moments, the ever pungent drumming of Wilson shading and inventing new ways to swing, it’s all here, and more. Joined by tenor and soprano saxophonist Joel Frahm and altoist and bass clarinetist Andrew D’Angelo, Wilson and bassist Yosuke Inoue provide every rhythmic shape and stance for the reed players to fully cut loose, and they do in a harmonic wonderland very inspired by Eric Dolphy. There are familiar musical signposts. “Strangers In The Night” is so mysteriously understated in a no-time feel it is not recognizable until the end. “I Found A New Baby” is oom-pah-pah Kurt Weill circus-like and frenetic, and Thelonious Monk’s “Boo Boo’s Birthday” is done in a pretty straight, soulful, half-tempo take, until the garrulous ending. They also do a supersonic be-bonic, faster than the original version of John Coltrane’s “Grand Central.” “Wooden Eye” is a back-and-forth blazingly out to blusily swinging two headed monster, “Big Butt” a free funk with the Dolphy twins wailing, and the duck call like honking and churning latin and hard bop rhythms are orgy-like on “Making Babies.” At their most hilarious on “Go Team Go!,” the band romps through a freaky instrumental fan-fare, then campily paraphrases the stair-step sports “charge, “ “Take Me Out (i.e. OUT!) To The Ballgame,” and the nine clap progession that precedes “Let’s Go,” bassist Inoue rattling the grandstands. Funny! There are more meditative moments like “A Dusting Of Snow,” Wilson softly and deliberately tossing out waves of wafting spontaneous percussionistic flakes, the beautiful alto-soprano tandem for “Daymaker,” and the dirge-like caravan mode during “Cinderblock Shelter.” Wilson is making some of the more challenging original group material out there in the latter ‘90s. Those who enjoy bass clarinet need to pick up on D’Angelo, he’s playing a lot of it on this CD, and Frahm is pretty hot too. It’s short of 47 minutes long, a detriment for long winded improvisors as these, but it’s a concentrated time frame, chock full of music that should bring happiness to even the most sour and dour avant mavens. Recommended.

Silly Fact