Matt Wilson
Palmetto, 2020

December 31, 2020

Matt Wilson’s latest album is titled Hug! 

The drummer recorded it with his classic quartet featuring Jeff Lederer on sax, Kirk Knuffke on trumpet and Chris Lightcap on double bass. The album is the follow up to Honey and Salt: Music Inspired by the Poetry of Carl Sandburg, released by Palmetto in 2018, and features some lesser-known classics of the history of jazz along with some original compositions written by the leader. 



The first song, “The One Before This” by Gene Ammons, is an opening full of groove and with beautiful wind solos. It’s followed by Abdullah Ibrahim’s cheerful “Jabaloni” and a very fast version of Charlie Haden’s “In The Moment”. The group is cohesive, the fast swing inspires remarkable solos, and the performances are energetic and nervous.
“Joie de Vivre” is a beautiful medium written by Dewey Redman, while “King Of The Road” is a New Orleans-style arrangement of Roger Miller’s 1965 country hit.
The other songs are Wilson’s compositions: the ballad “Every Day with You” is remarkable, while “Space Force March / Interplanetary Music” is an anthem composed after the announcement of the creation of the space security forces by the Trump administration, here performed in a medley with a composition by Sun Ra and all arranged in a perfect Zappa style.
Can you be subversive and iconoclastic (and personal and interesting) by choosing the path of swing and an old school sound? Certainly yes, and this record is an excellent answer to the question.



Matt Wilson  Hug!  Palmetto 2020 copyright Jazzespresso 2020

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