An Interview with Matt Wilson

Oct 20, 2019

A prolific, inspired recording artist,  drummer Matt Wilson has appeared on over 250 records. He is a first call jazz drummer, serving as a  sideman in countless recording dates. When he is not in the studio, he performs all over the world, hitting the stage at the Iowa City Jazz Festival in recent years with exciting, dynamic bands that create music that is remarkable.

Matt Wilson's exceptional drum artistry has been featured on the Last Call for many years. A master of the  unexpected, Wilson is always a delight to hear as a sideman or bandleader. Matt Wilson has worked with Dena DeRose as her drummer on several recordings. As a sideman with bands such as led by Dena DeRose, Charlie Haden, Jane Ira Bloom and many others, he has made an impact on record and live dates as a drummer who steers the rhythm towards the unpredictable, while being totally accessible. He leads the Matt Wilson Quintet, Arts and Crafts, Christmas Tree-O and the Carl Sandburg Project. Wilson's Arts and Crafts band has released three records of note featured on Last Call: 2004's Wake Up! (To What's Happening),  2006's The Scenic Route and 2009's That's Gonna Leave A Mark. On  this effort Wilson and Co. take the listener on another freewheeling ride to the frontiers of jazz. With Andrew D’Angelo-alto saxophone, bass clarinet; Jeff Lederer- tenor & soprano saxophone, clarinet and Chris Lightcap- acoustic and electric bass, Wilson skillfully navigates between reflective ballad artistry ("Come and Find the Quiet Center")and sonic burners("Area Man"). Special guests the Swayettes and the Wilson Family Singers contribute on a spirited reading of War's "Why Can't We Be Friends" which closes out this highly recommended disc. 

On his latest recording, drummer Matt Wilson pays tribute to the "Poet of the People" and winner of three Pulitzer prizes, Carl Sandburg, on Honey and Salt. The recording is a rich and compelling musical journey, a realization of Matt Wilson's  lifelong respect for Sandburg's work. Additionally, Wilson is a gifted composer, bandleader, producer and educator.  For more information you may visit Matt's website at: