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Matt Wilson: Going Once, Going Twice

Matt Wilson is a drummer originally from the Midwest, then honed in Boston with the circle of the Either/Orchestra, and on the downtown New York scene in recent years. He also plays in the groups of Dewey Redman, Lee Konitz and Cecil McBee.

On this, his second album as a leader, Wilson fuses all of these elements for some fantastic fun. He achieves an Aaron Copland-like synthesis of Americana. On the title track, Ned Sublette rattles the auctioneer’s call with the cadence of a jazz singer and the banjo of Pete McCann collides with the collective interplay of the jazz group. “Land Of Lincoln” has Lee Konitz intoning the Gettysburg Address behind some spirited blowing.

The impish and savvy New England spirit add some intellectual fun, like the deconstruction of “Hey There”, the inclusion of “Turn, Turn, Turn” or the post-modern funk of “Schoolboy Thug.”

Finally, the album includes some angular, jagged compositions, with nods toward Sun Ra and Herbie Nichols and free interplay of fine young musicians, such as saxophonist Joel Frahm and Andrew D’Angelo, whose compelling bass clarinet glides along, Dolphy-esque. Through it all, Wilson keeps things together and adds a very musical approach to the drum kit.

Originally Published