Anthony Wilson made his name accompanying Diane Krall on her various tours, but when he’s not accompanying Elvis Costello’s wife he tends to do his own shtick, which is very different to the soft bossas that made Krall’s Live In Paris DVD so famous.
Jack of Hearts was recorded in 2009, it features some very notable names that along with Wilson help to create a funky, jazzy energy that constantly entertains the ears. It’s somewhere between mainstream jazz and funk with a spoonful of blues and a smidgen of bebop.
Helping Wilson to create the noise are two drummers who swap seats and contribute their very prodigious talents. The first is Jim Keltner who has played with just about every great musician that has ever lived, the second is another Krall refugee by the name of Jeff Hamilton, who plays on the lion’s share of the tracks. Completing the trio is the Hammond organ specialist Larry Goldings who cut his teeth with the James Brown band and later joined the likes of Maceo Parker before turning to pure jazz.
Anthony Wilson plays guitar and his style is a combination of John Scofield and Kenny Burrell’s sounds, the tones are more funky than bluesy, with lots of straight jazz that is seamlessly interwoven with syncopating rhythms. Jack of Hearts is a dual layer, CD/SACD with multichannel surround at an alleged 176/24 bit rate. Either way the recording quality is very high if not superlative.
A highly recommended album for those who have had enough of macho jazz being played too fast and too loud and are looking to feel and hear as opposed to ‘understand’ the music.
The best tracks are Hawk Eyes and Harjuku, the latter will make fans of Medeski, Martin and Wood perform a very serious audiophonic double-take. Relaxing and exciting at the same time, recommended for snobs and music lovers alike.
listen to: Hawk Eyes, Harjuku