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Matt Wilson’s “Honey & Salt” Project



April 21, 2018


Let’s just say that drummer/percussionist Matt Wilson never disappoints. It’s as if he always has something up his sleeve, reminding us of one of the great American philosophers, Bullwinkle The Moose, who would roll up (actually tear off) his sleeve and say, “Hey Rocky! Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!” Which it wasn’t, rather, it was some kind of ferocious animal head. Wilson just may be the musical equivalent of that.

His first Columbia appearance dates to 1987, a fresh graduate of Wichita State University. Subsequently to that, he arrived as a member of the Either/Orchestra, then leading his “Arts & Crafts” quartet; his avant-quartet appeared twice, once augmented by pianist John Medeski, the last time around he was here with his off-beat, entertaining Chistmas Tree-O three-piece.

Now, the imaginative jazz spirit that is Matt Wilson welcomes “Honey and Salt,” a shared celebration of original music inspired by Carl Sandburg’s poetry. Wilson and Sandburg (1878-1967) both hail from Knox County, Ill. While the CD will be released in August 2017, Wilson has been composing music for the recording for more than a decade. In addition to Wilson’s music, the drummer also features guest readings of Sandburg’s work by actor Jack Black and iconic jazz artists such as Carla Bley, Bill Frisell, Joe Lovano, Christian McBride, Rufus Reid and John Scofield.

This exceptional event is produced as a true collaboration with the Unbound Book Festival. In addition to Wilson’s quintet, the performance will also feature a number of the festival’s visiting authors and others reading Sandburg’s work, interwoven with the music. Should be quite something to see and hear.