|…one of 2001’s best jazz albums...Arts and Crafts should be on that short list of jazz albums you need…even if – perhaps especially if – you’re not a hopeless fanatic about jazz. And why is that? Because this album succeeds on just about any level you can name.
Birmingham Black & White City Paper
Besides being a great drummer and a promising composer, Matt Wilson knows how to lead a band.
As wacky as he is smart, Wilson brings some needed fun to the new-jazz scene.
The New Yorker
He is a veritable singer on the traps; always musical, always supportive, forever dialogic.
One of the most versatile and touted drummers in jazz, Matt Wilson is known for mixing things up and infusing his music with intelligence, humor and non-stop energy. A favorite of the college/progressive music crowd, he raps, recites Carl Sandburg’s poetry to his music and is known to wear wigs from time to time. Wilson can play one night with Ohad Talmor’s out MOB Trio and then keep rhythm the next for straight-ahead pianist, Bill Mays.
A composer, bandleader and an educator, Wilson’s versatility extends to his own bands. His last CD, Humidity, featured his most well-known group, the Matt Wilson Quartet, a formation of two saxophones, bass and drum. The CD was universally praised by NPR’s “Fresh Air,” The New Yorker Magazine and other prominent national outlets.
Wilson’s new CD, Wake Up! (to what’s happening) is a return to his other creative ensemble, his Arts & Crafts band, which was last featured on their self-titled 2001 CD for Palmetto Records. That recording made many Best of 2001 lists, and this one likely will achieve the same distinction in 2004. The band consists of Larry Goldings, piano & organ (a fellow Palmetto recording artist); Terell Stafford, trumpet; Dennis Irwin, bass & clarinet; and Wilson on drums. Wake Up! marks Wilson’s 6th release for Palmetto.