Steve Wilson Returns to the Village Vanguard in NYC, December 4-9, Joined by Pianist Renee Rosnes and Bassist Peter Washington
Acclaimed jazz saxophonist Steve Wilson will headline a week at the legendary Village Vanguard in New York City, December 4th through 9th, 2012. Wilson will be joined by pianist Renee Rosnes and by bassist Peter Washington. The collaborative, co-led trio first performed together at Kitano in NYC, a two-night sold-out visit which Wilson fondly recalls as “one of the best musical experiences I’ve ever had.”
December 4-9, 2012
Village Vanguard – 178 7th Avenue South – $25
More info: This collaborative trio, which first played at Kitano in NYC, is looking forward to playing together again, this time at the storied Village Vanguard. Their inaugural engagement was a musical banquet of riches for each member of the band. Wilson says, “We had no rehearsal for the Kitano gig. With the natural chemistry between us it was a profound musical experience that surpassed our expectations. Our repertoire is comprised of evergreens from the Great American Songbook, well-known and rarely played jazz standards, and a few originals from Renee and me. The three of us have played together for many years in various settings, but this was the first time as a trio. In this not-so-common drummerless format we’re able to appreciate each others’ voices even more. Renee’s elegant touch and lyricism on the piano is really exquisite, and Peter’s warm sound, deep steady groove, and melodic lines have made him one of the most recorded bassists in the last 25 years. We play for the pure joy of making music together without any agendas. The Kitano audience really connected with that and their enthusiastic response took the music to even a higher level. Peter and Renee are the best in the business and I’m very excited that we’re having this engagement at one of our New York musical homes, the Vanguard.”
As 2012 winds up, Steve Wilson celebrates a series of highlights from the past year, including presentations of his ‘strings project’ at two major U.S. Jazz Festivals: The Clifford Brown Jazz Festival in Wilmington, DE, where he performed “Bird With Strings,” with a jazz ensemble consisting of Helen Sung, Michael Bowie and Ulysses Owens, Jr. (his frequent collaborator with Christian McBride,) supported by a five-piece string section. Over Labor Day weekend, Wilson premiered a three-movement work written by David O’Rourke, ‘Journey To Wilsonia,’ at the The Detroit Jazz Festival. For this event, Wilson was joined by an 18-piece chamber orchestra comprised of musicians from the Detroit Symphony and Opera, along with lead violinist Diane Monroe, Renee Rosnes, Peter Washington, Lewis Nash and Music Director David O’Rourke.
“While such sessions looked back, the music looked forward even when the program was nostalgic. Saxophonist Steve Wilson’s recasting of Charlie Parker’s work with strings updated some of Bird’s repertoire (including a freshly tangy “April in Paris”), but happily went farther afield. Sparked by the quickening piano of Renee Rosnes, the earthy violin of Diane Monroe and the surprising arrangements of bandleader David O’Rourke, Wilson turned in an unpredictable set, capped by the premiere of O’Rourke’s “Journey to Wilsonia,” a suite of three parts: “A joyful synergy,” “Tiptoe Through the Two Hips” (a blues) and “Dance of the Aquarians” (Wilson and O’Rourke were both born in February). “Journey to Wilsonia” should be recorded. It’s a witty, captivating piece.”
Wilson was also mentioned twice in this round up article.
Loren Schoenberg, the Artistic Director of The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, made this comment following Wilson’s performance in DE:
“Steve Wilson’s Strings project is a perfect marriage of contemporary jazz with the best traditions of the past. This is due exclusively to Wilson’s deep awareness of the music’s history and his determination to honor his mentors by not trying to imitate their styles but by being as relevant and original as they were in their day. Wilson’s take on the Charlie Parker with Strings repertoire is especially inspiring. The original recordings are among the most renowned and best known in jazz history. It is a thrill go hear Wilson bypass the less creative path of playing a variation on Parker, and take the more challenging route of interpreting this legacy in a fresh, contemporary fashion. He succeeds brilliantly.
In addition, Wilson has reworked some of the originals to accommodate his own vision, but always with a composer’s sense of unity, never throwing the proverbial baby out with the bath water.”
Other 2012 highlights: Steve Wilson returned, for the second year in a row, to Samba Meets Jazz In Bar Harbour, ME; He was the featured guest artist for the 2012 edition of CNY Jazz in Syracuse, NY; He performed in two duet settings, one with long-time partner drummer Lewis Nash, and with Colombian harpist Edmar Castenada.
Also, coming Up in December, 2012 and during 2013:
Dec 13-15 – Wilson is special guest with The John Toomey Trio at Havanna Nights in Virginia Beach, VA.
Jan 5, 2013 – Steve Wilson will perform as a guest soloist with the Navy Commodores. They will be performing some of the charts that have been written for Steve, and will also perform their own arrangements of several of Steve’s own tunes.
Jan 25, 2013 University of FL, Gainesville, FL at University Auditorium -Steve brings his band Wilsonian’s Grain, featuring Orrin Evans, Ugonna Okegwo and Bill Stewart.
Jan 27-Feb 3 – Wilson will be on The Jazz Cruise where he will be playing with the John Fedchock Big Band, as well in smaller ensembles with a host of great players. http://www.thejazzcruise.com/
March 16 – The Lewis Nash/Steve Wilson Duo will be recording live at the Manchester Craftman’s Guild in Pittsburgh, PA. This has been a long time the works, and both Steve and Lewis are looking forward to finally documenting this duo. More news later on the release of this project.
Wilson continues his educational work teaching at The Manhattan School, Juilliard School of Music and The Conservatory at SUNY. In December he will be working with one of his Manhattan School students, Kavita Shah, advising her and performing on her first recording.
He also continues his fruitful sideman career with Maria Schneider (Jazz Standard in NYC Thanksgiving week, their annual residency), Christian McBride (including The Village Vanguard in NYC, December 18-23), and will travel with the Village Vanguard Orchestra to Japan in November.
2013 is shaping up to be another exciting year for Steve, with his own projects as well as working with his favorite bandleaders. Visit www.stevewilsonmusic.com <http://www.stevewilsonmusic.
More about Steve Wilson –
As an educator and mentor, Wilson has taken the support of his students’ development to the next level, and has played a major role in two of their burgeoning careers, as they recorded new albums: Last year, Wilson produced his student Janelle Reichman’s first album, ‘Middleground’. Wilson is also featured prominently as performer on Youngjoo Song’s ‘Tale of a City’.
BASS SUPERSTAR PROJECTS: Steve Wilson will be a featured performer on big band releases by two of the preeminent bassists of our time: Ron Carter – ‘Ron Carter’s Great Big Band’ (Sunnyside) and Christian McBride Big Band – ‘The Good Feeling’ (Mack Avenue).
Wilson’s career shifted to the next level following saturation media coverage of his 50th Birthday at New York’s Jazz Standard. Wilson featured six different bands over six nights, and each set during the birthday week saw lines out the door. The diverse shows each reflected a different stage of Wilson’s evolution into what NPRdescribes as “one of the finest saxophonists in the business.”
In addition to a major feature in The Wall Street Journal (link below,) Wilson was the sole Pop/Jazz event previewed in The New York Times’ Arts and Leisure section’s ‘The Week Ahead’ page; The New York Timesalso ran two Friday Weekend Arts preview columns; Wilson received a WNYC Radio ‘Gig Alert’; Time Out NYgave his shows a ‘Critic’s Pick’; the Village Voice ran a ‘Voice Choice’ preview and photo; Jazziz Magazine ran a feature preview in their February Digital Edition; HotHouse Magazine ran a cover story interview; The New Yorker ran a ‘Goings On About Town’ preview, JazzPolice ran a preview, and more.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
NY CULTURE – FEBRUARY 7, 2011 – By LARRY BLUMENFELD