Jack of Hearts (2009)

Wilson, Ellington, van dijk Parks, Goldsmith, Hawkins

Anthony Wilson

A breakout album for Anthony Wilson, this organ trio with the superb Larry Goldings on B3 features two of the finest drummers working today - half the tunes are with the swinging Jeff Hamilton on drums and the rest session drummer par excellence Jim Keltner who lays down some truly great percussion. Aside from Wilson's exploration of Latin, south of the border influences, the recording features unique performances of music by Ellington, Hawkins, Jerry Goldsmith and Van Dyke Parks.

Recorded Direct to 2-track Analog in the legendary Ocean Way Recording Studio A in Hollywood, CA on January 27 and 28, 2009.

* NativeDSD makes this recording available for the first time as a DSD Download to a wider audience, outside the US and Canada.
* NativeDSD exclusively offers this recording as DSD 128 and DSD 256 Downloads (see Tech Specs for more info).

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Anthony Wilson

Anthony Wilson is a guitarist and composer known for a nuanced body of work that moves fluidly across genres. Wilson has long been curious about blurring borders and finding the place where where style and possibility intersect. 

Born in Los Angeles, Wilson is the son of the late jazz trumpeter and bandleader Gerald Wilson. That lineage has deeply informed his creative trajectory, compositional choices, instrumental groupings and the wide-ranging discography that blooms out of them.  Wilson’s acclaimed collection of organ-trio albums for Groove Note — Our Gang  and Savivity, with Hammond organist Joe Bagg and drummer Mark Ferber, and later Jack of Hearts, featuring Larry Goldings on organ, and alternating drummers Jim Keltner and Jeff Hamilton, reimagine and reframe post-bop, soul-inflected jazz. 

An inventive soloist and sensitive accompanist, Wilson has provided texture and authority both on stage and in recording sessions for jazz legends such as Ron Carter, Mose Allison, Bobby Hutcherson, Madeleine Peyroux, Bennie Wallace, Joe Sample, Al Jarreau, Harold Land, the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. Since the late 1980s he has been a member of his father’s jazz orchestra, assuming the leadership of the ensemble since the maestro’s passing in 2014.

While his footing is firmly in the jazz idiom, Wilson pivots with ease into other genres. Over the last decade, he’s been part of sessions and performances with a diverse roster of artists, including Paul McCartney, Willie Nelson, Leon Russell, Aaron Neville, and Barbra Streisand. In 2009, he arranged and orchestrated Brazilian composer Ivan Lins’ “Love Dance” for Ms. Streisand’s grammy-nominated album, Love is the Answer.  

Since 2001, he has been a core component of Diana Krall’s quartet, after joining her for a series of concerts in Paris at the Olympia Theater which became the Grammy-winning recording and concert film Live in Paris (2002).

A gifted composer as well, Wilson, while still in his 20s, won the Thelonious Monk Institute International Composers’ Competition in 1995. Since then he has received commissions from IAJE, the Henry Mancini Institute, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association and the luthier John Monteleone — for whom Wilson composed “Seasons,” a song cycle for a quartet of Monteleone’s handcrafted instruments called “The Four Seasons.”  The premiere performance of the piece, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, coincided with the Met’s exhibition “Guitar Heroes” in 2011. That same year Wilson released Campo Belo, a collection of original songs recorded in São Paulo, which partnered him with three of Brazil’s up-and-coming musicians, pianist André Mehmari, drummer Edu Riberio and bassist Guto Wirtti. 

photo: from booklet 'Jack of Hearts'

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Jack of Hearts (2009)

Wilson, Ellington, van dijk Parks, Goldsmith, Hawkins

Anthony Wilson

    Analog Planet -

While two of the three previous jazz records guitarist/arranger Anthony Wilson made with producer Joe Harley were guitar/drum/organ sessions, this one also featuring those instruments is much different. Though it’s definitely a jazz album, the inclusion of legendary rock drummer Jim Keltner instead of a more swinging, lighter touched jazz percussionist gives Jack of Hearts a much different anchor and a mostly retro-feel. Keltner’s insistent drumming puts organist Larry Goldings in an equally steady groove and allows Wilson to play blockier and more aggressively than on previous albums. Jazz purists might wonder about the choice of Keltner, who even when playing jazzy rhythms, is unmistakably a rock drummer by temperament and touch. Not being said purist, I think the choice was inspired. Even when on occasion you might be wishing for a slightly lighter, breezier touch, Keltner makes it interesting. Sonically, you get everything you could hope for in a Michael C. Ross Oceanway live to two track analog production. There are sonic riches galore from the to-salivate-from Hammond B-3 organ with its big, fat warm bass lines to the warm, round yet precise electric guitar lines and the woody, cracklin’ rim shots snappy snares, punchy cymbals and cataclysmic kick drum explosions. Ross is going for impact not soundstaging or three guys playing in the distance in a big room, so expect a big drum kit spread across the stage and room-filling man-sized images. So crank it up and enjoy this not-so-guilty, below the neck retro-pleasure fest.

Michael Fremer[read full review]

    Prairie Audio Man Cave

Anthony Wilson Trio. “Mezcal.” Jack of Hearts. DSD128 Native DSD download. Groove Note Records. 2009. This sassy jazz gem by the longtime guitarist in Diana Krall’s quartet (“Anthony Wilson: Guitarist, Composer, Arranger”) shows plenty of slam with Jim Keltner’s snare, crash, ride cymbals -- and, yes, the cowbell, while Wilson’s electric guitar is big, bold and well articulated. Larry Golding’s vintage Hammond B-3 lead riffs and background pads give it verve. And, when Wilson opens up, it’s an intoxicating kickoff to an outstanding album this shines with a very analog and realistic presentation that draws me in time and again.

Juan C. Ayllon[read full review]

    Tone Audio

"Sometimes the postman brings cool surprises. I looked at the quilted envelope marked “Groove Note Records” and figured with a name like that, something good had to be inside and I was not disappointed. Though I’m not terribly familiar with Anthony Wilson, my ears perked up when I saw Jim Keltner listed as one of the musicians. A few seconds later a big warm sound filled the room and about 15 seconds later, everyone that was hanging out had a big smile on their face." Jack of Hearts is straight ahead jazz, served classic trio style. Anthony Wilson is a great guitarist, who plays with a light touch and an exquisite sense of space on “Clark and Old Fender amps.” Trio partner Larry Goldrings brings an equal level of tastiness to the Hammond B-3, mixed in with Jim Keltner and Jeff Hamilton on drums to round out the group. The disc has a nice mixture of jazz standards from Ellington, Hawkins and Parks, with the remaining half of the disc Wilson originals. This is one of those special albums that has been flawlessly recorded and mastered, but isn’t boring audiophile music. This is a record that you want to share with your friends and your favorite adult beverage with the lights down low. The record was recorded in the legendary Oceanway Studio in Hollywood to 2 track analog and thanks to the care taken in the DSD mastering, Jack of Hearts will put these three guys right in your listening room."

Jeff Dorgay[read full review]

    All Music -

"Jack of Hearts isn't the first Anthony Wilson album to feature an organist extensively. For example, he worked with the Los Angeles-based organist Joe Bagg on his album Savivity. But the guitarist has worked with acoustic pianists more often than organists. Jack of Hearts is unusual in that it finds Wilson not using a pianist at all. On this session, Wilson forms an intimate trio with Larry Goldings on organ and Jeff Hamilton or Jim Keltner on drums. In the '90s and 2000s, Goldings was one of the leading proponents of a post-Jimmy Smith aesthetic on the Hammond B-3. Goldings has been greatly influenced by the late Larry Young, who started out as a Smith disciple but evolved into an innovative, distinctive post-bop/modal player and went down in history as "The John Coltrane of the Organ." Of course, Goldings is not a clone of Young; he is most certainly his own person, but he shares Young's love of post-bop. So it isn't surprising that Goldings does a lot to shape the post-bop perspective that dominates Jack of Hearts. His presence is a major plus on material that was composed by Goldings and/or Wilson, and it is a major plus on memorable arrangements of Coleman Hawkins' "Hawkeyes" and two of Duke Ellington's lesser-known pieces ("Zweet Zursday" and "Carnegie Blues"). The fact that neither of those Ellington tunes is a standard speaks well of Wilson, who is smart enough to realize that one of the joys of the vast Ellington songbook is hearing all of the worthwhile Ellington compositions that didn't become standards. Jack of Hearts is a consistently engaging addition to Wilson's catalog."

Alex Henderson[read full review]

Jack of Hearts (2009)

Wilson, Ellington, van dijk Parks, Goldsmith, Hawkins

Anthony Wilson

Mastering Engineer: David Glasser, Airshow Mastering
Mastering Room: DSD 128 and DSD 256 Download Files Created by Tom Caulfield at the NativeDSD Mastering Lab, Marshfield, MA
Notes: We are pleased to announce the availability of Groove Note releases in DSD 128 and DSD 256, in addition to the original DSD 64 releases. These higher bit rate DSD 128 and DSD 256 releases are all pure DSD created. They are not up samplings, for there are no PCM or DXD conversions involved in their production. They are re-modulations of the original DSD 64 encoding modulation that produced the DSD 64 releases. The sonic advantage to these new Stereo and Multichannel DSD 128 and DSD 256 releases, as with all higher DSD bit rate releases, is the wider frequency passband prior to the onset of modulation noise.This results in the listener’s DAC using gentler and more phase linear filters for playback of the music.
Producer: Joe Harley
Recording Engineer: Michael C. Ross
Recording Location: Ocean Way Recording Studio, Hollywood CA on January 27 and 28, 2009
Recording Type & Bit Rate: Analog

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GRV1046: Jack of Hearts
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Jack of Hearts
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Carnegie Blues
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Theme from Chinatown
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van dijk Parks
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Zweet Zurzday
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