Gerald Wilson Orchestra – Legacy

August 12, 2011 / No Comments / Tags: Alan Ferber, Gerald Wilson, Gerald Wilson Orchestra, jeremy pelt, Lewis Nash, Luis Bonilla, Rene Rosnes, ron blake, Sean Jones

(Mack Avenue Records)

Gerald Wilson’s latest recording, Legacy, is most aptly named. On this effort, the legendary composer works with his son, the gifted guitarist, Anthony Wilson, and grandson, Eric Otis, who writes down the notes for the soon-to-be 93-year old, whose sight is affected by a macular degeneration condition. The album’s title also reflects the Mississippi native’s long association with his adopted hometown of Chicago, where he was first stationed during World War II. In fact, eight of the albums 12 track are part of the “Yes Chicago Is…” Suite, which Wilson was commissioned to write for the 2008 Chicago Jazz Festival. Other tracks on the album find him re-harmonizing works by Debussy, Stravinsky, and Puccini. The orchestra making all this sound so good is an assemblage of a who’s-who of great talents, including Rene Rosnes on piano, Lewis Nash on drums, Ron Blake and Dick Oatts on saxophones, Sean Jones and Jeremy Pelt on trumpets and Luis Bonilla and Alan Ferber as part of the trombone section. The music is rich with melody and a beautiful alchemy under Wilson’s direction that makes it a great listen from the first to very last note.

Click here to listen to a clip of “Variation On A Theme by Giacomo Puccini”.

Tracks: Variation On A Theme by Igor Stravinsky, Virgo, Variation On Clair DeLune, Variation On A Theme by Giacomo Puccini, September Sky [Yes Chicago Is…Suite] A Jazz Mecca, A Night At The El Grotto, Riffin’ At The Regal, Cubs Bears, Bulls and White Sox, 47th St. Blues, Blowin’ In The Windy City, A Great Place To Be.