Matt Wilson: Jazz On 'The Scenic Route'

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Set List

  • "We See" (Monk)
  • "The Scenic Route" (M. Wilson)
  • "The Cruise Blues" (M. Wind)
  • "Bubbles" (Wilson, poetry by Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)
  • "Feel the Sway" (M. Wilson)
Matt Wilson (300 tall)

Wilson's beautiful maple drumset is handmade by a craftsman named Johnny Craviatto in Santa Cruz, Calif. Jimmy Katz hide caption

toggle caption Jimmy Katz

JazzSet recently traveled up the East Coast with the crew from WGBH Radio Boston in the soulful New England harbor town of Marblehead, Mass. Things are so cozy in the Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead that the first pew is right next to the hi-hat cymbal. The piano shares the stage with the organ. And bandleader Matt Wilson is not complaining. He loves the fellowship of his tight Arts & Crafts band, with Terell Stafford on trumpet, James Weidman on keyboards and Martin Wind on bass.

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Matt Wilson is a what-is-he-doing-now drummer. It started back in Knoxville, Ill., when Wilson was in the third grade and saw Buddy Rich playing drums on The Lucy Show. Soon, he was playing homemade drums with his brother on sax. That brother turned Matt on to the classic album Rich Versus Roach, and it's Max Roach whose drum sound Matt Wilson hears in his head today.

"We See" ends with Wilson's nod to electronic instruments: a talking button. "The Carl Sandburg Project," commissioned by Chamber Music America, musicalizes Sandburg's poem "Bubbles." For the cool-down, enjoy "Feel the Sway," Wilson's homage to a yoga class. So plant your feet, feel the natural movement of your body and sing along.

The Scenic Route is Wilson's latest CD with Arts & Crafts.

Credits: Thanks to Gene Arnould and his team at Marblehead Summer Jazz. Our field producer is Steve Schwartz, and the recording and Surround Sound remix are by Alan Mattes of WGBH Radio Boston.

This segment originally aired April 9, 2009.

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