Much of Anthony Wilson’s reputation, remarkable for one still in his early 30s, rests on his writing abilities. A triplethreat composer with a unique ear for melody, harmony and rhythm, Wilson’s charts for his celebrated nine-piece ensemble are strongly grounded in the jazz tradition even as they maintain a thoroughly modern, forward-looking perspective.
His skills have won him a slew of honors: the Thelonious Monk International Composers’ Competition in 1995, a Grammy nomination for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Performance in 1997, The Gil Evans Fellowship in composition from the International Association of Jazz Educators in 1999, top-ranking (tied with Dave Douglas) in the composers deserving wider recognition category in Downbeat magazine’s 2000 International Critics’ Poll.
But composition is only half the Wilson story. Anyone who has seen him perform, whether with his incisive nonet, as a member of the orchestra led by his father, distinguished bandleader Gerald Wilson, or in various gigs with saxophonists Bennie Wallace and Ernie Watts, trumpeter Marcus Printup, singer Madeleine Peyroux and others, know that he’s also a smart, sensitive guitarist, one who brings the same ear for tradition, melody and harmony to his instrument that he brings to his writing.
* 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).
Total time: 00:58:58
Sebastian Koh, Ying Tan
|Original Recording Format|
This album was recorded live direct to two track. Sony Direct Stream Digital™ System with custom engineered ADCs and DACs by Ed Meitner, EMM Labs.
Sony Sonoma DSD Workstation
DSD 128 and DSD 256 Download Files Created by Tom Caulfield at the NativeDSD Mastering Lab, Marshfield, MA
Bernie Grundman, DSD Download Created by Dave Glasser, Airshow Mastering
AKG C-12, C-12A and KM-S4, Neumann M-49, M-80 and U-67, Sony C55p, Sennheiser 441, 421
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.
Michael C. Ross (Recording Engineer), Greg Burns (Assistant Engineer)
|Recording Type & Bit Rate||
Cello Studios, Hollywood, CA December 7 & 8, 2000
|Release Date||May 5, 2018|
This is a very short ‘review’ :-), but if you like trio’s this is a ‘must listen’. From the delicate intro on the first track to the great rhythmic propulsion of ‘Chitlins’. I really like what the guys have done with ‘Luck Be A Lady’. And I can go on and on… The ‘Gang’ put in a great performance and the recording is intimate and of great quality (it earned a Golden Ear Award by TAS). The soundstage is exactly like you see on the picture on the sleeve, with Anthony in the middle right, Joe Bagg on the organ in the front left and Mark Ferber on drums in the back.
Anthony Wilson is a very fluid guitarist, but Joe Bagg on Hammond B3 matches that note for note. The more I listen to this disc the more I start to appreciate the incredible nimbleness he displays on the organ. Ferber on drums has a firm but at the same time, light touch and you can easily hear how he is driving, supporting, filling and laying the rhythmic foundation.
This workout by the guitarist in a trio is a welcome change of pace. Wilson has a melodic and boppish style with an attractive tone. He interacts with two fellow citizens of Los Angeles: organist Joe Bagg and drummer Mark Feber. Wilson contributes three originals and also plays songs by Bagg, Kenny Burrell, the Beatles, Frank Loesser, and Duke Ellington (“Prelude to a Kiss”). Overall this is a fine straight-ahead jazz date by an underrated but talented guitarist.
Wilson is a guitarist of today with not only amazing chops but also gangbuster writing abilities. He’s the son of famed (and underappreciated) big band leader Gerald Wilson. This album grew out of his love of a sort of Harlem barroom jazz exemplified by B3 virtuoso Jack McDuff’s recordings with sax and guitar. Three of tunes here, including the title one, are Wilson’s, and his nearly ten-minute opus on the Beatles’ I Want You is light years beyond the usual jazz variations-on-a-tune. The eight tracks close out with a lovely version of Ellington’s Prelude to a Kiss. B3-tickler Joe Bagg is no slouch here – his pedal-shuffling will give your subwoofer(s) a run for their money if you have them. I’m a huge B3 fan – extending to really enjoying the music of a funkier nature than I normally listen to as long as it has a B3 in it.
The original recording was done with DSD, so this version is pretty much what was heard in the studio. Bernie Grundman did the mastering. Hard to believe an audiophile gold CD could suffer from anything characterized as grunge, but next to this pristine and transparent-sounding DSD edition it now does. There’s also more gut-level impact to the pedal notes of the B3. This is just about the best jazz stereo DSD I’ve auditioned to date. Tracks: Our Gang, Chitlins Con Carne, Britta’s Blues, Time Flies, Road Trip, Luck Be a Lady, I Want You, Prelude to a Kiss.
Guitarist Anthony Wilson, the son of bandleader Gerald Wilson, has garnered numerous accolades for his compositions and his big-band arrangements. Not bad for a musician who is still only in his early 30s. For Our Gang, he opts for the organ-trio format, with drummer Mark Ferber and organist Joe Bagg.
For an organ-trio recording, things get started on the left foot somewhat: “Our Gang” is a laid-back Latin original that enables Wilson to get in some nice melodic playing but suggests that this album isn’t going to be a traditional funky workout. But the trio’s cover of Kenny Burrell’s “Chitlins con Carne” simmers from the get-go, though Wilson smartly builds his solo slowly and turns up the heat as things progress. The remaining tunes, while not exactly fitting into the classic organ-trio mold, feature plenty of bright moments, including the brisk, long, fluid lines of “Luck Be a Lady,” the backbeat-oriented “Road Trip” and a funky reading of the Beatles’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy).”
There’s no question that Wilson is a fine, exceptionally fluid player who knows how to build a solo (and write a nice tune), witnessed by this disc’s diverse, sometimes sophisticated material.
Positive Feedback (10+10+10)
Provenance = Live and direct to 2-channel DSD via Meitner chipset; recorded by Michael C. Ross and Darren Morra; produced by Ying Tan, Sebastian Koh and Joe Harley; mastered by Bernie Grundman
I have to say that I wasn’t familiar with Anthony Wilson (jazz guitar), Joe Bagg (Hammond B-3) and Mark Ferber (drums)…but I am now!
Ying Tan was kind enough to send this album along for a listen. Groove Note albums are always a treat for me. Ying and company are fiends for “only the best.” They don’t compromise on the sound, and always deliver music that amazes me for its beauty and excellence. (Look at what Groove Note has done with Jacintha… with Luqman Hamza… with Jay McShann, for example — you have bought those, haven’t you?!)
But these folks I didn’t know. I popped the album on, and sat down for a minute… and stayed for a while. Quite a while.
What a sweet recording!
The feel is small and intimate; you’re in a small club with a jazz trio—only you’re alone with them. Anthony Wilson commands his guitar with improvisational work that at the other end of things away from stale or hackneyed. Whether bluesy (“Britta’s Blues” or “Prelude To A Kiss”), funky (“Chitlins Con Carne”), or jazzy-rock (his exceptional cover of the Beatles’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”), Wilson drew me into that world of head-nodding reverie. His compadres, Bagg (love that classic Hammond sound… I never get tired of it!) and Ferber are just right, and deliver accompaniment that’s spot on to round things out to perfect.
The sound is pure DSD: transparent, effortless, deep, detailed, and utter relaxing. This is what recordings of this kind should sound like!
Highest praise to everyone involved in producing this quiet masterpiece.
Love jazz trios and great instrumentals? Then this album, my friend, is for you.
It merits a Ye Olde Editor’s “Highest Recommendation.”
Sound = 10/10; Performance = 10/10; Music = 10/10
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