Here are what some of the critics said about Spiral (Released in 2010)
Spiral Review published in Downbeat Magazine (November, 2010)-John Ephland
***1/2 (3 and ½ stars)
“With a crack band in pianist Phil Markowitz, bassist Tony Marino and Adam Nussbaum on drums, saxophonist Dave Wilson knows how to pick them and the music. Actually, most of these 11 tunes are Wilson's, with a few of the covers suggesting eclecticism: Toninho Horta's Francisca and the Grateful Dead classic Friend Of The Devil.
Eclectic because, as far as jazz albums go, Spiral is pretty standard, straightahead fare, sparked by Wilson's edgy yet loose tenor playing along with vivid comping and soloing by Markowitz, sold support from Marino and sensitive yet fiery playing from the always reliable Nussbaum. The Title track is an uptempo swinger with a catchy melody hinged on two chords and great playing all around. Wilson's Movin' On, to take another example, is a good spot to hear the saxophonist's lyrical yet burly tone on this medium-slow swinger, Markowitz's piano adding its own lyrical sheen while Marino and Nussbaum channel their respective Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones vibes. Wilson's Like GS 2 (the title is a reference to Scott LaFaro's Gloria's Step, the song a reworking) is a light trio excursion, featuring the leader's Warne Marsh-like playing with Marino getting some room to solo against Nussbaum's tasty brushwork. This swinger indicates a band comfort level both wide and deep.”
Spiral Review published in JazzTimes Magazine (December, 2010)-Bill Milkowski
With stellar support from Pianist Phil Markowitz, Bassist Tony Marino, and drummer Adam Nussbaum, Pennsylvania-based saxophonist-educator Dave Wilson elevates his game and blows with authority on this collection of originals and smartly plucked covers. From the aggressive title track (with Wilson channeling his inner Trane on tenor) to the soothing bossa nova “Ocean Blue”, the expansive modal number “Movin’ On” and an intriguing variation on Scott LaFaro’s “Gloria’s Step” (titled “Like GS Step 2”) the saxophonist showcases a bold sound, fertile ideas, and fluid lines. Also included are spirited covers of the Grateful Dead’s “Friend of the Devil” and Creed’s “My Own Prison”.
-CD Review: http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=37140
By Karl Ackermann-All About Jazz
“Wilson's compositions and covers reflect an eclectic approach, featuring ballads, Latin influences, free improvisation and mainstream jazz. Wilson's and his quartet may well have produced their breakout effort with Spiral; a potpourri of jazz styles from sometimes unlikely sources, it nevertheless flows and holds together, thanks to the multiple skills of Wilson and his band... Should it appear that cover arrangements are the highlights of Spiral, rest assured that they are just part of the overall package. Wilson's own contributions account for more than half the numbers and they measure up across the board. Whether the focus is on melody or free improvisation, Wilson is more than up to the task and could not have found a more empathetic collaborator than Markowitz. Spiral is an inventive, high-energy collection with a number of very accessible compositions that should propel Wilson's career as a leader.”
CD Reviews: http://www.jsojazzscene.org/cdreviews.htm
by George Fendel
“If might be said that Dave Wilson represents a new segment of jazz musicians who test the ears of the listener nearly exclusively through their own compositions. Wilson has roots in Coltrane, but I found his actual tenor sound to have earlier influences as well…his compositions…test your ability to determine a melody line. ...there’s a very urban, brawny sound that he seems to favor. For this recording, Wilson enlisted some top echelon talent in Phil Markewitz, piano, Tony Martino, bass, and Adam Nussbaum, drums. If you’re looking for Zoot, Ben or Getz, this won’t be you entree, but if you like being inside the outside, these guys dig pretty deep.”
-CD Reviews: http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:0jfyxzysldfe
by Alex Henderson-allmusic.com
“When an album includes songs by the Grateful Dead, Creed, and Ambrosia, the phrase instrumental, acoustic-oriented post-bop jazz usually isn't the first thing that comes to mind. But tenor/soprano saxophonist Dave Wilson's Spiral is, in fact, an instrumental, acoustic-oriented post-bop jazz album that includes songs by the Grateful Dead, Creed, and Ambrosia — and the impressive thing is that Wilson's jazz mentality is as strong on the rock and pop/rock material as it is on the original compositions that dominate this 2009 recording….But Spiral isn't smooth jazz; Wilson gets his inspiration from post-bop saxophonists like Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane, and Joe Henderson (with a healthy appreciation of Michael Brecker as well). And when he tackles the Grateful Dead's Friend of the Devil, Creed's My Own Prison, and Ambrosia's Biggest Part of Me, Wilson isn't playing the type of vapid, note-for-note covers one associates with Dave Koz, Richard Elliot or the late George Howard….Wilson (who forms a quartet with pianist Phil Markowitz, bassist Tony Marino, and drummer Adam Nussbaum) seriously interprets those three tunes, and his solos are equally introspective on six original compositions and a memorable arrangement of Brazilian star Toninho Horta's Francisca. The fact that Wilson can take songs from Bay Area jam band country-rock, post-grunge, alternative rock, soft rock/adult contemporary, and Brazilian jazz-pop and make all of them relevant to post-bop speaks well of the Pennsylvania-based saxophonist, who is in fine form throughout Spiral.”
August 11, 2010
By Chuck Vecoli, www.jazzreview.com
If you have ever spent any time in the Lancaster Pennsylvania area, and you like jazz, chances are you have stumbled across this treasure trove of talented musicians. I have had the pleasure of hearing a few of the region's offerings, both in the area and on CDs. Dave Wilson is one of those musicians and the latest CD, Spiral, by the Dave Wilson Quartet is among those treasures.
Spiral is Wilson's third and latest effort and demonstrates a growing competence in the role of leader, composer and arranger. Wilson brings together a band of first call sidemen including Phil Markowitz on piano, Tony Marino on bass, and Adam Nussbaum on drums. These talented musicians make first quality work out of the Wilson compositions and arrangements. Throughout this CD the sidemen are ever-present contributors to the intent of the arrangements and honor the emotion of the compositions. A standout performer on this CD is Markowitz on piano, a constant compliment to the lead work of Wilson, tying the rhthym section to the lead with a sensitivity that only a master can provide…The work provides a perfect venue for demonstrating the talent of Dave Wilson and his sidemen. Cuts on this CD rank among the most entertaining jazz saxophone works I have heard. The Dave Wilson Quartet has delivered a most memorable effort with Spiral.
CD Reviews: http://www.audaud.com/article.php?ArticleID=7781
By Doug Simpson, Audiophile Audition
Dave Wilson Quartet – Spiral – Summit
“On Spiral, saxophonist Dave Wilson proves two things: he is a top-notch composer and he has a talent for choosing idiosyncratic cover tunes.
…Some jazz recordings seem produced to fit specific kinds of listeners or audiences: avantgarde, traditional, pop-oriented, soul jazz and others. Pennsylvania-based saxophonist Dave Wilson does not create jazz in an attempt to complement all tastes but nevertheless one listen to Wilson’s third album as leader, Spiral, and it becomes evident Wilson makes jazz that can be satisfying to several types of fans: he does not jump from one genre to another, but has put together an hour’s worth of jazz that is engaging, confident and rewarding.
….Wilson wrote six of the 11 tracks and despite some unusual choices in cover material, he gives the project a cohesive unity… Wilson has a gift for picking unique covers…It is not often someone can hear a Grateful Dead country rocker (outlaw narrative “Friend of the Devil”) and a lilting Latin number by guitarist Toninho Horta on the same record…However, Wilson’s self-penned cuts are the meat and potatoes of this outing and reveal an artist who melds technical proficiency with responsive composing.”
CD Review: http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2010/07/15/4902978.htm
St. Joseph News-Press, Mo., Street Beats column: Dave Wilson Quartet, 'Spiral' (Summit Records)
Jul 15, 2010 (St. Joseph News-Press - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) –
“Spiral is a minor masterpiece. It has the urgency, technical proficiency and coherent song succession that only the finest studio recordings possess and only the best players can produce….Spiral is music that deserves to be heard.
CD Reviews: http://blogcritics.org/music/article/music-review-dave-wilson-quartet-spiral/
By Frank C. Etier
“Wait a minute! Is that Stan Getz or Paul Desmond? The first two tracks made it clear that this was real jazz, but when track three (“Ocean Blue”) was introduced with a smooth samba-like rhythm and the saxophone slipped in, it made me do a double take. Was this Dave Wilson and his quartet or did the wrong CD make it into the player?
…Spiral is Dave Wilson’s third CD and he is joined for this project by three legendary sidemen with stellar resume’s. Phil Markowitz on piano, Tony Marino on bass, and Adam Nussbaum on drums have worked with such notables as Chet Baker, Bob Mintzer, Zoots Sims, Phil Woods, Stan Getz, John Scofield, and Dave Liebman. The Dave Wilson Quartet is tight and turns in a defining performance both for themselves and traditional jazz.
…For those who use that crossover appeal as a benchmark for success, this CD is a must buy.
Dave Wilson is a music educator, band leader, sideman, event promoter, salesman 9 (musical instruments), arranger, and now recording artist. With two previous CD’s that both made waves on the charts, we hope that the third time is a charm for a vehicle to great fame. Such success would be great not only for Wilson, but for jazz music in general.”
CD Reviews: http://zzaj.freehostia.com/index.htm
“The 11 cuts on this fantastic high-energy CD prove his musical genius beyond doubt, especially on tracks like Summer Breezes, one of the most beautiful pieces of music I've heard this year. It's full-tilt jazz from the title track on the opener, Spiral, to my absolute favorite piece, Movin' On ... Phil Markowitz' piano, bass by Tony Marino and drums from Adam Nussbaum all work together with Dave's probing reed work to make this a most memorable CD…This CD is more than just a keeper, it's an instant classic in my collection... I can't say enough about Dave's splendid June 2010 release - it gets my MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating, as well as the PICK of 2010 for best jazz quartet. Rotcod Zzaj Aka Dick Metclaf IMPROVIJAZZATION NATION
CD Review: http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=37403
By Raul d'Gama Rose
“…The nature of successful interlocking is that the pieces fit each other with seamless perfection. In a group of disparate musicians this is not always possible. However, with the ensemble that saxophonist Dave Wilson has put together the pieces seem to fit with enviable perfection. There is a swirling energy that keeps the unit cohesive; but, more than that, it appears as if saxophonist, pianist Phil Markowitz, bassist Tony Marino and drummer Adam Nussbaum were cut from the same cloth. The understanding between each of the musicians is telepathic and often, throughout the long and rewarding set, it feels as if they share one dynamic brain.
….Something is always happening in the churning energy of the vortex that is the Dave Wilson Quartet. Usually, Wilson provokes this with the gruff-and-tender miasma that swirls like an electromagnetic field around his saxophone. He gently agitates the very air around him with fluidity that recalls the gentle and throaty persuasions of Joe Henderson on tenor. On soprano saxophone, Wilson favors a drier tone that streams with gilded edges and sharp undulations. His thoughts flow rapidly on both horns, turning out statements of a concrete, poetic nature….This anchor enables him and his fellow musicians to create great circular clusters of sound, charged with burgeoning harmony.
….There is so much on this album to challenge not simply the musicians, but also those who hear the music. This is a record that reaches deep into the soul—something that cannot be said about very much music these days.”
Here are what some of the critics said about “My Time” (released in 2007):
FIRST, AN OUTSTANDING REVIEW IN THE MARCH, 2007 ISSUE OF JAZZ TIMES!
…Dave Wilson’s second CD makes a subdued entrance with a gently flowing ballad led by long, clear tones from Wilson’s soprano sax. But just when you thin you’ve got him figured out, the tables are turned. It’s Wilson’s gruff, streetwise tenor that dominates this outing, with a merry band of Philadelphia musicians keeping the vibe straight-up and swinging. They hit their peak in a compelling version of “Summertime” (presented here in two versions), with Wilson’s passionate blowing going into overdrive above the riffing rhythm section. Five original tunes offer catchy hooks and warm moods, keeping the disc buzzing along nicely. JAZZ TIMES, MARCH 2007
...Wilson injects punch and zip into jazz standards...his wit shines radiantly... And besides the musicians’
noticeable camaraderie and solid chops, this endeavor pronounces clarity of thought, and proclamations
of good cheer. - Glenn Astarita
...An engaging performance and clever, boppish charts, should propel this disc to
the top of the national jazz station play list. - Edward Blanco
…Tenor saxophonist Dave Wilson and his quartet are based in Philadelphia and, from the evidence of
this CD, they are well worth catching. Wilson has an intense but friendly tone on tenor and soprano, and
a style based in hard bop but open to undertaking more adventurous paths. Pianist Matt Hochmiller
takes several impressive solos and the rhythm section is both supportive and stimulating. Whether it is
an up-tempo romp or a brooding ballad, My Time has plenty of colorful moments and features the four
musicians in top form. -Scott Yanow, (AMG) Allmusic.com
…The Dave Wilson Quartet’s 2005 album My Time is very good in a recent CD release that offers mostly
original material by Wilson…It is one of the most replayable Jazz CDs we have heard in a while and fans
will be very interested too. -Nicholas Sheffo, fulvuedrive-in.com
…In the tradition of mainstream jazz, reedman extraordinaire Dave Wilson asserts himself to us his devoted
listeners like a NASA shuttle bent on conquering the universe...Proffering us their music with compelling chordal extensions, & lovely angular lines, etc....Bringing our sensibilities to a strong musical reaction in real time. George W. Carroll/The Musicians' Ombudsman
…A solid ensemble plus a few tried and true standards make this worthwhile recording. 4 Stars John Gilbert, Ejazznews.com
…Dave Wilson…A post-Coltrane soprano and tenor saxophonist with a penchant for melody…. a keen sense of melody, as well as the ability to turn the heat a notch up on the uptempo tracks.
-Michael P. Gladstone
…Lancaster, Pa.-based saxophonist Dave Wilson can change your mind about the hipness of Amish country… is a threat throughout the woodwind family. …a fluid player who gets around the horn - mostly
soprano and tenor - and blends in wherever he lands… a happening mainstream vibe
-K.S. Karl Stark, Philadelphia Inquirer