HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015
As 2014 comes to a close, I thank you all for continuing to support me and my music so enthusiastically, for asking when and where I'll be performing next, and for encouraging me to be quick about releasing new recordings. Your interest in my work helps me to define new goals and to imagine new possibilities.
I keep a paper fold-out planning calendar that shows the entire year in a kind of scroll format. Looking back on 2014, I see that I had many opportunities to record and perform with some of my favorite musicians, friends, and heroes (What? A tour with Ron Carter? I'm still pinching myself!), both at home and in some pretty far-flung places (I joined Diana Krall's band in trips to Dubai, Oman, and Australia); that I continued to present my own original music to a widening array of audiences (Seasons Guitar Quartet at the Broad Stage and Maverick Concerts were two highlights); and that I had the chance to teach many extremely talented young students whose inquisitiveness and dynamic engagement with all kinds of music inspires me to keep listening for new sounds, and to stay open to where my own musical curiosity can take me.
In that spirit, I completed a large number of original songs — half of them instrumental, the other half vocal — which I began recording in June with an unbelievable group of musicians, including bassist/producer Michael Elizondo, drummers Jim Keltner and Matt Chamberlain, keyboardist Patrick Warren, and violinist Petra Haden. There are other fantastic guests as well. The recording that we are very close to finishing is very unique, very personal for me, and is a strong declaration of the kind of mission I'd like to embrace as I go forward. I intend for you to be able to hear it before the summer of 2015.
Finally, on this last day of the year, I remember my father Gerald Wilson — who died in September, just a few days after his 96th birthday — with a deep, abiding love. He was a profound man who lived almost a century of life and music on his own terms, and I am lucky to be his son.
Please stay tuned here for announcements of things to come in the new year.
“…Awesomely the real deal.” – Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen
Anthony Wilson is one of the leading musicians of his generation. Known for his imagination, maturity, and depth, the guitarist/composer/arranger has recorded ten solo albums since his Grammy-nominated debut album was released in 1997. Wilson’s fourth album with his acclaimed nonet, 2006’s “Power of Nine,” was included in The New Yorker’s roundup of the year’s top ten jazz albums, and 2009’s “Jack of Hearts” included Larry Goldings and legendary drummer Jim Keltner in a set of music that approached the classic guitar-organ-drums format with a new spirit of play and possibility.
In 2011, Anthony Wilson released two celebrated albums. “Campo Belo,” a collection of original songs recorded in São Paulo, pairs him with three of Brazil’s most extraordinary young musicians (pianist André Mehmari, drummer Edu Ribeiro, and bassist Guto Wirtti); and “Seasons: Live at the Metropolitan Museum of Art” (a CD/DVD set) documents—in audio and video—the premiere of new music composed by Wilson for a group that includes guitarists Julian Lage, Chico Pinheiro, and Steve Cardenas playing masterpiece instruments built by luthier John Monteleone. “Seasons” was Stereophile Magazine’s “Recording of the Month” in April 2012. Downbeat Magazine’s “Editor’s Pick” review exclaimed: “Nothing short of gorgeous…as close to understanding the marriage of artist and instrument as we’ll get in this lifetime.”
A sensitive, gifted accompanist as well as a formidable soloist, Anthony Wilson has been an indispensable member of Diana Krall’s quartet since he joined her in 2001 for a series of performances at Paris’ Olympia Theater that were collected on the Grammy-winning “Live In Paris,” widely considered a classic. Recordings and performances during the past decade with Paul McCartney, Leon Russell, Willie Nelson, Mose Allison, Bobby Hutcherson, Barbra Streisand, Madeleine Peyroux, and Aaron Neville have continued to spotlight Wilson’s growing artistry, musical flexibility, and improvisational authority. Producers Tommy LiPuma, Joe Henry, and Jesse Harris frequently call on Wilson for his unique contributions to their projects; and Bennie Wallace, Larry Goldings, the late Harold Land, the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, and Anthony's father, renowned composer/arranger Gerald Wilson, are just a few of the revered artists with whom the guitarist has forged fruitful, lasting partnerships. Wilson’s considerable talents as a “triple-threat” guitarist/composer/arranger regularly land him at the top levels of all three of those categories in Downbeat Magazine’s International Critics’ poll.
Anthony Wilson’s abiding connection to jazz tradition and his equal willingness to take risks are the hallmarks of his skillful, inspired work as a composer and arranger. Wilson won the Thelonious Monk Institute International Composers’ Competition in 1995, and since then he has received numerous commissions for small- and large-scale original works. His orchestral composition “Virgo” was commissioned by the LA Philharmonic Association and premiered at the Hollywood Bowl in 2008; and in 2009 his orchestral arrangement of Ivan Lins’ “Love Dance” was featured on Barbra Streisand’s #1-charting recording “Love is the Answer.”
Already a widely respected artist—“with a voice and manner of his own…and a promise that stretches out to the horizon” (Gary Giddins)—Anthony Wilson stands ready to move even further to the forefront of the music world, and to take his place alongside the most admired musicians of this era.