Wilson’s CD, Wake Up! (to what’s happening) is a return to his other creative ensemble, his Arts & Crafts band, which was last featured on their self-titled 2001 CD for Palmetto Records. That recording made many Best of 2001 lists, and this one likely will achieve the same distinction in 2004.
The band consists of Larry Goldings, piano & organ (a fellow Palmetto recording artist); Terell Stafford, trumpet; Dennis Irwin, bass & clarinet; and Wilson on drums.
Wake Up! marks Wilson’s 6th release for Palmetto.
The CD begins with Larry Goldings’ contribution, “Sticky Mack,” an upbeat swing number with a throwback sound. Wilson’s “Free Range Chicken” follows. Wilson keeps the beat while Terell Stafford grooves hard on his muted horn and Goldings vamps on the organ. The band strolls on “Aluminum Baby” by Jaki Byard, who, legend has it, based it on “Satin Doll.” Special guest vocalist, Curtis Stigers, continues the laid-back feel with his take on “There Comes A Time” by Tony Williams. Stafford opens with a heartfelt solo on “Luiza,” a lovely ballad from Antonio Carlos Jobim. The Latin influence continues with “Cuban Carnival Song,” which Wilson discovered on a Cuban folk music compilation. Dennis Irwin shines here on clarinet while Wilson gets to jam. The ethereal “Silence” by Charlie Haden features an incredible organ solo by Goldings. “We’ll Be Together Again” thrives on the swing beat, “one of the greatest feats of groove history,” comments Wilson. The next tune, “Fast Edd,” is just that – fast. Closing out the recording is a meditative reprise (a duo between Stafford & Goldings) of “There Comes A Time.”