Groove Note Records
Now a four-year veteran of Diana Krall's road band, Anthony Wilson reunites with organist Joe Bagg and drummer Mark Ferber to follow up 2001's Our Gang with the exceptional Savivity. As if to prove that a "mainstream" date can be unpredictable and forward-focused, Wilson chooses seldom-heard songs ("You're the Top," Django's "Fleur d'Ennui") and brings skill and conviction to the more common ones ("A Child Is Born," "All the Things You Are"). His four originals are accessible yet idiosyncratic, somehow transcending the genres in which they're written. "The Other Shore," a slow bossa, has a straightforward lyrical line unfolding in an odd harmonic pattern, with Wilson's unaccompanied interlude adding another wrinkle. "Jackson," a longer piece in a laid-back swing feel, has a similar freshness. "Savivity," a midtempo waltz, brings out darker colors and features one of Bagg's more ruminative solos. "Sea Blues" brightens the mood with an offbeat 12-bar bebop head, followed by inspired blowing. Wilson's soulful touch is a genuine pleasure, and his interplay with Bagg and Ferber never seems rote.