I don't care too much about music. What I like is sounds. -- Dizzie Gillespie
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Gerald Wilson has died

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Gerald Wilson, a bandleader, trumpeter, composer, arranger and educator whose multifaceted career reached from the swing era of the 1930s to the diverse jazz sounds of the 21st century, has died. He was 96. (Thelonious monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Gerald Wilson on the picture) 

In a lifetime that spanned a substantial portion of the history of jazz, Wilson's combination of articulate composition skills with a far-reaching creative vision carried him successfully through each of the music's successive new evolutions.
The big band leader began his career in the late 1930s as a trumpeter for Jimmy Lunceford's band before forming his own big band in 1944 featuring female trombonist Melba Liston. He played and worked as a composer-arranger with the likes of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Carter and Dizzy Gillespie, and he arranged music for Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae and Bobby Darin.
He led his own Gerald Wilson Orchestras — initially for a few years in the mid-1940s, then intermittently in every succeeding decade — recording with stellar assemblages of players, continuing to perform live, well after big jazz bands had been largely eclipsed by small jazz groups and the ascendancy of rock music.
Seeing and hearing Wilson lead his ensembles — especially in his later years — was a memorable experience for jazz fans. "There's no way you can sit in Gerald's band and sit on the back of your chair," bandleader/arranger John Clayton told the Detroit Free Press. "He handles the orchestra in a very wise and experienced craftsman sort of way. The combination of the heart and the craft is in perfect balance."

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 09 September 2014 18:24

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