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Album Review

Gerald Wilson's big band recordings were always quite consistent, featuring his distinctive arrangements and some of Los Angeles' top hard bop soloists of the era. His orchestra of the 1980s recorded four albums for Discovery and Trend. Most notable on this LP (not yet reissued on CD) are "Calafia," "3/4 For Mayor Tom (Bradley)" and a remake of his hit "Viva Tirado," here called "Viva Tirado '85." Among the key soloists are the tenors of Ernie Watts and Harold Land, trombonist Buster Cooper, guitarist Anthony Wilson (Gerald's son, heard in one of his first recordings), trumpeter Oscar Brashear and pianist Milcho Leviev. A fine, underrated effort.


Born: 04 September 1918 in Shelby, MS

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

From time to time, Gerald Wilson seemed like one of Los Angeles' better-kept secrets, an unusually skillful, imaginative, and charismatic bandleader who hadn't received his due outside the West Coast. His arrangements were distinctive, often complex voicings and harmonies, rooted in swing and bop, yet always forward-looking and energetic in tone. He liked to play around with structures, which contributed to the restless quality in much of his music, and being a bullfight aficionado, he was one of...
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Alfie, Gerald Wilson
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