What’s Hot With Jazz Guitar: Anthony Wilson

I had first heard of Anthony Wilson through a mutual friend, the legendary jazz producer Esmond Edwards. He said Anthony was a super fine guitarist and that I should check him out. As Esmond produced 5 albums for George Benson and also produced numerous recordings for Kenny Burrell and B.B. King, I guess he should know.

I managed to catch up with Anthony at the Spazio’s Guitar Night with John Pisano this last week. Anthony is a truly wonderful player. He has a very fluid style and displayed a variety of unusual melodic ideas in his playing which I found quite refreshing. His chordal work was certainly not run of the mill either. All in all he was quite impressive. John Pisano was great playing opposite him, as usual.

John Pisano invited guitarist Dan Faehnle take his place for most of a set to play with Anthony. John Pisano and Dan Faehnle had played with Diana Krall on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno earlier in the day and Dan has been the regular guitarist with Diana Krall now for several years.

Anthony Wilson and Dan Faehnle were hot. They played a number of tunes and both of them smoked! I talked to Dan in between sets, and he said he should have a webite online sometime soon, in which case we’ll do a column on him.

From Anthony’s online bio:

In a few short years, composer/arranger/guitarist Anthony Wilson has carved a distinctive niche in the jazz community, having released three CDs with his large ensemble on MAMA Records, all of which received considerable acclaim. Among other honors, Wilson’s first, self-titled CD received a Grammy award nomination in 1998; his second CD Goat Hill Junket featured prominently on many jazz critics’ Top-Ten lists; and his most recent CD Adult Themes received a rare “5 Stars” in Downbeat Magazine. His first trio recording, Our Gang, on GrooveNote Records, is scheduled for release in May 2001.

Anthony Wilson won the Thelonious Monk International Composers’ Competition in 1995, was nominated for two New York Jazz Awards in 1998 (Best Debut Artist and Composition of the Year) and has received numerous commissions, such as The Gil Evans Fellowship from the International Association of Jazz Educators in 1999. In 2000, he was voted #1 composer (and #3 arranger) “Deserving Wider Recognition” in the 48th Downbeat International Critics’ Poll. In addition to performing & recording with his own bands, Wilson has recorded and toured with such artists as Bennie Wallace, Ernie Watts, Marcus Printup, Pete Christlieb, Madeleine Peyroux, and his father Gerald Wilson. Anthony Wilson has been a member of the Jazz Studies faculty at UCLA since 1998.

Check out Anthony’s website for more info.

Doc Dosco is a jazz guitarist, composer and audio consultant living in Los Angeles, CA. His website is located at http://www.docdosco.com, where you can find more information on the ‘What’s Hot in Jazz Guitar’ columns, audio clips of Doc’s playing, and many additional features. Doc plays Heritage guitars and endorses the new Pignose Valve Tube Amps — great for jazz (and anything else!)

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