Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Peter Niklas Wilson Dies

Peter Niklas Wilson, a noted journalist, musicologist and avant-garde jazz bassist, died October 26 of an undisclosed illness. He was 46.

Born on May, 30 1957 in Hamburg, Germany Wilson studied musicology at universities in Goettingen and Hamburg. Wilson’s love of jazz seemed to consume his life. He was an impressive double bassist (Wilson recorded music with such artists as Anthony Braxton, Malcolm Goldstein, Hannes Wienert), but also wrote a number of jazz biographies, including those of Sonny Rollins (Sonny Rollins: The Definitive Musical Guide) and Ornette Coleman (Ornette Coleman: His Life and Music). He has also written about Albert Ayler, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis. His most recent book, Hear and Now, is a comprehensive study on the art of improvisation.

In 1998, Wilson, along with friends and fellow musicians saxophonist/clarinetist Vlatko Kucan and trumpeter/composer Rajesh Mehta founded True Muze Records, which specializes in issuing contemporary music with foundations in free improvisation and non-western traditions. Wilson was also co-founder of a Hamburg-based improvisational collective called Ton Art.

Originally Published