Monday, November 28, 2011

Off To The Side with Matt Wilson

I can't think of a better way to start off this week than with a virtual up-close, in-performance drum lesson with Matt Wilson, seen here from a Boston performance with saxophonist Noah Preminger's Group on the classic Thelonious Monk composition "Four In One":

Matt is always an inspiration to watch and listen to play. He plays with a real sense of joyful purpose that permeates every musical situation he finds himself in. His highly groovy and often melodic and in-the-moment approach to playing jazz music really resonates with me and I consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to study with him back in 2004 on a study project sponsored by the Canada Council for the Arts. Matt also plays with a really beautiful sound, a dynamic sense of flow, impeccable phrasing and he always seems to know exactly how much space to leave. Fortunately I have all my extensive lessons with Matt recorded and I often find myself going back to those recordings for renewal and inspiration. In many ways I like to think of Matt as the modern Billy Higgins of our time, someone who's joyful and exuberant spirit never fails to lift the bandstand and embrace the music around him at all times.

I actually just spent the weekend playing a ton Monk tunes myself (including this one) at the Beatniq Jazz & Social Club in Calgary with Toronto guitarist Alex Goodman who was nice enough to grace us with his presence and his music after having completed an extended residency at the Banff Centre. He's sounding pretty good these days, to say the least!

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