FEATURE/ PREVIEW: Steve Wilson’s London debut as leader (Pizza Express Dean Street, 12th November 1.30 pm)

Steve Wilson
Photo by Richard Battaglia published at Stevewilsonmusic.com

“He’s among the best New York jazz has to offer,” wrote Ben Ratliff in the New York Times about STEVE WILSON. Chick Corea has written of him: “a complete lyricist and adventurer as an improviser… He interprets my compositions as I would have myself if I played his horns” 

The alto saxophonist will be making his London debut as leader in a quartet with pianist BRUCE BARTH at Pizza Express Jazz Club Soho on 12th November, starting time 1.30pm. Drummer Stephen Keogh, who knows them both well, and will be playing drums on the gig, introduces the two Americans. Stephen writes:

I first met Bruce Barth when we were booked on a gig together in the mid 90’s in Spain. The band met at Madrid airport and drove to Valencia. We arrived just in time to do the quickest sound check, eat dinner – almost always a great experience in Spain – and get back on stage for the concert. The gig played itself, mainly because Bruce makes the piano sound like everything from a solo instrument to and entire orchestra, and everything he plays is bursting with musicality, aliveness, great joy and spirit.

So it’s not surprising that artists of the calibre of Stanley Turrentine, Terrence Blanchard and Tony Bennett all wanted to feel that great support and hear such magnificent solos in their bands. Since that day we became friends and we have played together far and wide in many different formats, from trio, small group, with string quartet, and even with orchestra. Whether playing standards, original compositions of others, or Bruce’s own compositions, what you get every time is gold.

I discovered Steve Wilson through Bruce 20 years agoand have been enjoying listening to him ever since. A musician’s musician, Wilson has brought his distinctive sound to more than 150 recordings led by such celebrated and wide-ranging artists as Chick Corea, George Duke, Michael Brecker, Dave Holland, Dianne Reeves, Bill Bruford, Gerald Wilson, Maria Schneider, Joe Henderson, Charlie Byrd, Billy Childs, Karrin Allyson, Don Byron, and Mulgrew Miller among many others. He has eight recordings as a leader. He also performs with several Grammy-winning ensembles: Maria Schneider Orchestra, Christian McBride Big Band, Billy Childs Quartet, Ron Carter Big Band, and the Buster Williams Quartet.

Wilson and Barth have a long musical relationship together having played in each other’s bands for many years. Together they make a very special unique sound, and are on a telepathic level of communication. Both are regarded as two of the most important American jazz musicians of their generation. They are seasoned masters right at the top of their game.

This gig  will be Wilson’s first appearance as a leader in London. Playing a programme of Wilson and Barth originals, it promises to be a great occasion.

Steve Wilson Bruce Barth Quartet at Pizza Express Jazz Club Soho 12th November 1.30pm Doors open 12.00pm Tickets £30.00 BOOKINGS

LINK: Steve Wilson website

Steve Wilson alto saxophone 
Bruce Barth piano 
Mark Hodgson bass 
Stephen Keogh drums

Categories: miscellaneous

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