Music teacher, business owner and saxophonist Dave Wilson relocated from the New York City suburbs a few decades ago, where he studied and performed. Now, residing in the less-hectic environs of Lancaster, Pa., the artist doesn’t necessarily opt for a calming jazz sensibility, here on his second solo effort.
Wilson is the primary soloist, performing on tenor and soprano saxophones as he nestles his craft somewhere in-between modern mainstream and progressive jazz. On "Moon and Sand," his blithe tone is spiced-up by a sugary edge amid airy and dreamscape-drenched choruses. Pianist Matt Hochmiller provides a sturdy yet limber support structure via his accents, comping and soloing endeavors. But, diversity remains a key to this album’s success as the quartet swings and ventures into hard-bop terrain. More importantly, Wilson injects punch and zip into jazz standards, evidenced by his soulful rasp on "Summertime," and a deeply personalized spin on Bill Evans’ ballad, "Time Remembered." Then on Wilson’s original composition titled "Funtime," the band works through a temperate, Latin-jazz groove to complement a few heated sojourns into the free-zone.
Wilson’s wit shines radiantly during the final piece, which is an extended version of "Summertime." Here, the rhythm section gravitates atop a buoyant ostinato as the saxophonist takes on vocal-like attributes, largely due to his emphatic and vibrato-based phrasings. And besides the musicians’ noticeable camaraderie and solid chops, this endeavor pronounces clarity of thought, and proclamations of good cheer.