Steve Wilson

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After serving as a sideman with James Williams, Chick Corea and a host of others, Wilson makes the most of his debut as a leader. Assembling a supporting cast of top-notch veterans, including pianist Mulgrew Miller, bassist Ray Drummond and drummer Ben Riley, Wilson is a joy to listen to on any of his axes. Five of the nine songs are Wilson originals, with the leader's mesmerizing soprano sax on "A Joyful Noise," his spirited flute on the lovely "Trapaceria," and strong alto sax on his intense "Sisko" all meriting strong praise. Also worth mentioning is the exotic take of Billy Strayhorn's "Chelsea Bridge," which is quite a change from the usually slower dramatic arrangements in which Duke Ellington featured his soloists.

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