Jazz Warrior is a collection of vibrant and carefully arranged pieces performed by one of the most exciting trumpet players on the scene today. Wilson's ability to respect the musicians who came before him and blend these influences into his own sound is uncanny and timely. One must also acknowledge his exploration of the Afro-American condition evident in every one of the fourteen tracks.
Pedal Herlin is a captivating vehicle showcasing Wilson's controlled style of playing. Solid playing from the band with punctuated and funky accents thrown in for good measure. A fine opener. Everyone is featured in this delightful piece.
Stevie Wonder's Golden Lady is given a warm and seductive treatment with Wilson's soft and enveloping voice featured throughout. What solidifies this gem is the way Wilson uses the soft underbelly of his trumpet. His technique and careful execution is a joy to the ear. McCormick's expressive piano takes us out on this wondrous journey.
An inspired piece of music with energy to burn, Monk swings like there is no tomorrow. The group is up for the task at hand. Playing off each other yet maintaining control throughout. Wilson's sense of fun and tip of the hat to past practitioners (namely Freddie Hubbard) keep the listener on the ready to learn and listen what can be done when a tune is well written and arranged. Wilson's creative spirit shines throughout.
Tango is the kind of tune that could melt you to the floor with it's slinky maneuvering and hypnotic drum patterns. Forbe's drumming behind Wilson's rhythmic solo is both succinct and direct. Conjuring up images of a hot night, couples dancing, Wilson and the band rise to the occasion with a sassy piece of music that swings on it's own terms.
The rap oriented number Dark One owes much to Miles Davis's later work when he was about to venture into new territory. Wilson's fine, trumpet work is a testament to this. Not to forget, Plummer's sparse guitar work adds to this intriguing number by softly strumming the strings in a rather seductive manner. Musically, Dark One is a rhythmic gem, working with the groove to create a tapestry of sonic delight.
Africa takes on a slow groove with Wilson leading the way. His subdued playing evokes a mood that permeates throughout the piece. Solid playing from the band as well. A joyful yet bittersweet celebration.
McCormack and Charles set the stage for The Truth. A melodic and voodoo like rhythmic arrangement displaying a haunting and poignant tone that captures the spirit of the piece. Wilson and the rest of the group stretch out and capture the moment in a timely fashion.
Wilson is an emerging talent with great potential. His vocal skills along with great trumpet chops, thrust him into the new arena of jazz hopefuls. Jazz Warrior is a solid debut featuring a group of musicians who can play with the best of them. The sound of the recording is crisp with carefully miked and balanced effects. Mixing pop tunes with straight ahead jazz,Wilson should be able to reach a larger audience.