Early in his New York career, Steve Wilson made his reputation as the saxophonist to call But now we don't call, we instant message and e-mail, and furthermore, Wilson is not only "for hire," he leads at least two bands.
In the fall of 2005, he brought his Generations quartet with Billy Childs, Ray Drummond and Ben Riley to the Kennedy Center Jazz Club. Hearing this group is a special opportunity for JazzSet listeners.
Wilson's dad was a music enthusiast who took him to the Hampton Jazz Festival every summer. He went to Virginia Commonwealth University on an oboe scholarship. In 1987 he joined OTB, Out of the Blue, new talent put together by the Blue Note label.
His phone started to ring. Lionel Hampton called. The American Jazz Orchestra and the Smithsonian's jazz orchestra called. The New York Times did a full piece about Wilson's life as a busy side man. He became a member of Chick Corea's band (and a leader on Corea's Stretch label), the Maria Schneider Orchestra (with which he currently tours), and Dave Holland's quintet.
Drummer Ben Riley is the eldest, and has the lightest touch! He toured the world in the Thelonious Monk Trio in the late 1960s. Bassist Ray Drummond has recorded on hundreds of albums, and now also teaches at California State University at Monterey Bay.
Pianist Billy Childs from Los Angeles is nominated for three Grammys for composing and arranging, and one for Best Jazz Instrumental Album.
"Jayne" by Ornette Coleman
"I-95" by Ray Drummond
"The Peacocks" by Jimmy Rowles
"Alone Together" by Dietz & Schwartz, featuring the trio
"Waltz for Sweetie" by Walter Bishop
Ben Riley, drums
Billy Childs, piano
Ray Drummond, bass
Billy Childs and the Lush Jazz of 'Lyric'
Kennedy Center Concerts to Come
Our recording is by JazzSet's Duke Markos, with Chris Weal and assistant Michael Caplan from Big Mo Recording.
Thanks to Laura Hartmann and the Kennedy Center folks, Kevin Struthers and Sean Costello.
Ginger Bruner records host Dee Dee Bridgewater @ KUNV, Las Vegas.
Our producer is Becca Pulliam; assistant Yujin Cha; executive producer Thurston Briscoe III @ Jazz 88, WBGO in Newark, NJ.
Copyright 2007 NPR