Matt Wilson

Wake Up! (To What's Happening)

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Drummer Matt Wilson refuses to be pigeonholed into any one category on this wide-ranging CD. With keyboardist Larry Goldings, bassist Dennis Irwin and trumpeter Terell Stafford (who doubles on flugelhorn), Wilson and company obviously enjoyed themselves in the studio. Goldings' quirky post-bop "Sticky Mack" inspires some of the best solos of the date, followed by Wilson's slightly funky "Free Range Chicken." The group also delves into works by departed greats, including Jaki Byard's infrequently heard ballad "Aluminum Baby" and drummer Tony Williams' unusual hymn-like "There Comes a Time," with Goldings' driving organ, Stafford's saucy trumpet, and guest Curtis Stigers' potent vocals. Charlie Haden's "Silence" features Wilson's crisp brush-work, with Goldings' dirge-like organ and Stafford's haunting solo. The best drum feature is easily the playful arrangement of "Cuban Carnival Song," in which Irwin switches to clarinet and Stafford offers a spirited solo, though the leader easily steals the show with his lively percussion. A loping treatment of the standard "We'll Be Together Again" has a playful call-and-response between Stafford and Goldings, with the pianist playfully detouring into "Take the 'A' Train" and hinting at other a few other songs. This is yet another very impressive date as a leader by Matt Wilson.

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