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Listen Now: Sarah Wilson Quintet In Concert

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Monterey Jazz 2011: Sarah Wilson Quintet

Monterey Jazz Festival

Monterey Jazz 2011: Sarah Wilson Quintet

Listen Now: Sarah Wilson Quintet In Concert

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/140610964/140644001" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The Sarah Wilson Quintet at the 2011 Monterey Jazz Festival. Craig Lovell/Monterey Jazz Festival hide caption

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Craig Lovell/Monterey Jazz Festival

The Sarah Wilson Quintet at the 2011 Monterey Jazz Festival.

Craig Lovell/Monterey Jazz Festival

The composer, trumpeter and vocalist Sarah Wilson has led a two-coast career. She grew up in California; her formative musical years were in New York; she's now again way out west in Oakland. Along the way, she's picked up a unique skill set. A little bit more than half her repertory is a intricate, slightly ragged brand of jazz steered by her trumpet; on the other half she sings in a plain, singer-songwriterly voice, hints of roots-rock infusing the proceedings.

It's a complex brew, but good musicians can make it percolate. Luckily, at the Monterey Jazz Festival, Sarah Wilson had with her a band of agreeable iconoclasts. There was the wah-wah pedal and amplified country fiddle of violinist Charlie Burnham; the squiggly lines of guitarist John Schott; the bassist Jerome Harris, who favors the unusual acoustic bass guitar; and the colorful, fingerpainting drummer Matt Wilson (no relation). After the second of two sets, heard here, Matt Wilson was in good spirits, as usual. "Man! That was different," he said. "That was fun!"

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Personnel

  • Sarah Wilson, trumpet/vocals
  • Charlie Burnham, violin
  • John Schott, guitar
  • Jerome Harris, electric bass
  • Matt Wilson, drums

Credits: James Perdue, mix engineer. Paul Cain, assistant.