Matt Wilson’s Arts & Crafts

Sept. 2 - 2012

Matt Wilson is one of jazz’s great free spirits. During a recent performance at the Green Mill, he abandoned his drum set to play a wood flute from inside the men’s room next to the stage, kicking the door open in time with the music. As funny as the ploy was, it worked in the context of the song. A brilliantly inventive drummer, this native of downstate Illinois has the ability and natural charisma to keep an audience rapt with a solo drum performance, which he did last year at the Hungry Brain.

Wilson’s long-running Arts & Crafts quartet started out concentrating on underplayed bop classics. But its acclaimed 2012 album, An Attitude for Gratitude, includes heady covers of Weather Report, Simon and Garfunkel and Barbra Streisand. As if this band didn’t have enough wrinkles going for it, today’s performance will feature trumpet great Randy Brecker, a very different (and funkier) player than Arts & Craft’s superb regular trumpeter, Terell Stafford. The witty, much-in-demand Gary Versace will play organ and piano and the German romantic Martin Wind – as Wilson only half-kiddingly describes him – will play bass.

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