Joe Williams, Lester Bowie, Charlie Byrd, Nat Adderly, Gene Harris, Grover Washington Jr...the past year’s heavenly roll call has featured an extraordinary number of influential jazz giants. Rather than dwell upon the sorrow of those losses, saxophonist Steve Wilson chooses on his Concord release Passages to reflect upon the wonderful legacies they leave behind.
In many ways, it’s the perfect extension of the concept of his 1998 recording Generations, which found him playing with three musicians—Mulgrew Miller, Ben Riley and Ray Drummond—he felt made it possible for musicians of his generation "to be on the path we’re on." A consummate sideman who has performed throughout the world with Chick Corea’s Origin for two and a half years, Wilson also makes great strides on Passages to establish himself as an eclectic songwriter and bandleader. For the first time ever, he’s recording with his regular core ensemble of Bruce Barth on piano, Ed Howard on bass, and Adam Cruz on drums / steel pans / percussion.