Born: October 18, 1953 Primary Instrument: Drums
THINGS HEARD UNHEARD is the first recording by Brian Willson as a leader. This recording is a combination of completely free improvisation and composed pieces, nothing written, just some words. Influenced by free jazz of the 60’s, world music, and contemporary, Willson fuses these elements into a diverse amalgam of improvised music • some pieces are classic free piano, bass and drums, evidence of the strong Cecil Taylor influence abounds, others are evocative of Eastern culture utilizing sounds and instruments particular to Tibet, Japan and China, evoking images of Buddhist ritual. Brian had played with Yuko and Dom individually and they enjoyed a long friendship collectively, but this was the first musical meeting of this trio of gifted musicians.
The recording is a culmination of years of performing for Brian Willson• he has traveled from rock and roll to jazz to club dates to oldies bands to Broadway shows to contemporary music. He is an accomplished performer in both the jazz and classical worlds, and an ardent improviser. After touring the world as percussionist and musical director with several Broadway shows he has dedicated his musical pursuits to jazz drumming, improvisation, conducting contemporary music, and performing and touring as Assistant Conductor with the Brooklyn College Percussion Ensemble. He recently recorded a series of duets with Pauline Oliveros, AS IT IS and a DVD of improvised music called JUST PLAYIN’, to be broadcast on CUNY TV. He is co-leader of a straight ahead jazz quartet, The Salim Washington • Brian Willson Quartet.