While his performance on the instant recording is not his best, it is nonetheless filled with numerous joys. Wilson solos on half the tunes, and his warm, sensuous tone infuses his still-decent technique with a life-affirming passion.
His arrangements are filled with the traditional big-band excitement and swing that characterized the s Herd. The first eight tracks are from a session recorded in , featuring tunes by Rogers and Hart that Wilson calls collectively "The Wizard of Oz Suite," a concept that he has pursued before with his recording The Wizard of Oz Suite. The final four cuts, which include versions of "Night in Tunisia" and Wilson's "Blueberries," were recorded a year earlier and are generally a tad longer.
The entire album swings vigorously, and is a representative example of tight arranging, good use of dynamics, and strong if fairly conservative soloing. Fans of Phil Wilson and of modern big band jazz should be pleased. Retrieved 14 November Edwards Instruments.
Los Angeles Times. Recording Date May 22, - May 18, Recording Location Hamburg DE. Track Listing. Phil Wilson. I Could Write a Book. You Mustn't Kick It Around. Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered. That Terrific Rainbow. Oscar Brown. Guest Artist. Tribute to Rolf Liebermann. What You Like. Pee Wee Ellis. A Message from Santa Klaus. Klaus Weiss. Joe Pass in Hamburg. Joe Pass. The Wizard of Oz Suite. My Favourite Songs, Vols. Band, Ensemble. Band, Performer, Primary Artist.
The Legacy, Vol. America the Beautiful. Es: Sensual. I worked and got an ability to focus. I forced myself to turn my ears off the first two times through and just focus on reading. It was my own way of figuring out how to deal with it. Wilson has been dealing quite nicely ever since. Several bandleaders hired him as a composer and arranger, and he won a Grammy Award nomination in for his arrangement of "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," as recorded by the Buddy Rich Big Band.
The international character of Wilson's life at Berklee has also found its way into his own projects. His composition, arranging, and teaching talents notwithstanding, it is perhaps Wilson's trombone sound that most strikes people who go to his concerts. Writing for the Boston Herald in , music journalist Harvey Pekar described Wilson's playing as "lush" with a "well-controlled vibrato, lyricism, incredible high note playing," and "fresh and unusual" melodic lines.
Wilson's trademark sound on his instrument has turned out to be one of his most valuable teaching tools. While Wilson demands that each of his private students work on what he calls "trombone aerobics," he also pushes them to develop muscles for musical creativity, chiefly by having them write a bar composition every week. It can also really help them gain confidence.
When saxophonist Bill Pierce was a skinny teenager in the early s, long before he joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers or became Berklee's Woodwind Chair, he thought of himself as one of the "worst guys" in Wilson's Dues Band. Back in the rehearsal room, Wilson is urging on the next generation of jazz messengers.