Dubbed "an unsung hero in modern jazz" by the All Music Guide, the baritone saxophonist Glenn Wilson has been cherished by discerning listeners who recognize a visionary improviser and inspired bandleader when they hear one. On his new live album Timely, to be released February 24, 2015 on Cadence Jazz Records, Wilson is joined by a treasured compatriot, the trumpeter John D'Earth. Along with the pianist John Toomey, the bassist Jimmy Masters and the drummer Tony Martucci, the horn men, tethered together by way of shared experience, interpret compositions by such masters as Wayne Shorter, Bob Belden, Larry Willis, Bob Dorough and baritone saxophone legend, Pepper Adams.
Having worked together in various configurations for over thirty years, the members of the quintet bring an artistic maturity to these performances evident in the spontaneous interplay and raw emotion displayed. Recorded over two nights at the Havana Nights Jazz Club in Virginia Beach, the music sparkles with an inspired mixture of unrestrained fervor aligned with the apparent ease that bonds seasoned players. "Recording live," says Wilson "is not something to be entered into lightly. The best jazz is LIVE jazz and you're hearing it just the way we played it for the audience at the club that night."
On standout performances, "Sightseeing", "Timely," and Diabolique II, Wilson and D'earth also create what the leader describes as "improvised compositions." "John and I have such a great rapport and hear the music so similarly that, when we improvise together, compositions are created that have never existed before and will never be heard again. That journey to unknown destinations is what makes the music so fresh and unrepeatable. It's what real jazz is all about: in-the-moment musical communication." The nature of the band's unusual repertoire also reflects this go-for-broke spirit. Instead of the familiar standards heard so often, Wilson and company revel in little heard gems including Shorter's "Sightseeing," Willis's "To Wisdom the Prize," Belden's "Fat Beat," Dorough's "Nothing Like You Has Even Been Seen Before" and Adams's "Dylan's Delight"" and "Diabolique II."
In a career that spans five decades, Glenn Wilson has been featured with such iconic jazz and Latin music leaders as Buddy Rich, Lionel Hampton, Machito, Tito Puente and Bob Belden; he has also appeared with rock hit-maker, Bruce Hornsby. Wilson has seven solo albums and has appeared on dozens of jazz recordings as a sideman. Currently based in central Illinois, Wilson performs with his two groups, The Jazzmaniacs and TromBari, featuring trombonist Jim Pugh, and teaches at both University of Illinois and Illinois State University.