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Theme for Monterey - EP

Gerald Wilson

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Album Review

In 1997, bandleader/arranger Gerald Wilson was commissioned by the Monterey Jazz Festival to write an original piece to be performed at that year's festival. Wilson's goal was to compose a melody that the audience would leave the venue singing to themselves. He succeeded by casting his "Theme for Monterey" in five different styles, with his big band interpreting the theme in a variety of moods — as a ballad, a Latin romp, a medium-tempo piece and a shouting conclusion. His memorable five-part suite has solos by his son, guitarist Anthony Wilson, trumpeter Oscar Brashear, pianist Brian O'Rourke, trombonist George Bohanon, trumpeter Carl Saunders, Randall Willis on tenor, and others. Also on this CD are a couple pieces commissioned by the Ira and Leonore Gershwin Foundation, reworkings of "Summertime" and "Anthropology." Wilson was proud that he was able to give five-part harmonies to every melody note in the latter piece (Charlie Parker's original based on "I Got Rhythm"). Highly recommended.

Biography

Born: 04 September 1918 in Shelby, MS

Genre: Jazz

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

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