Primary Instrument: Saxophone
Portland saxophonist Tim Willcox was born in Eugene, OR. Taking up saxophone at the age of eleven, Tim quickly fell in love with jazz music. He was exposed to great jazz recordings by two very inspirational teachers, Carl Woideck and Joe ingram. Throughout high school, Willcox earned several national honors, winning A Downbeat Magazine award as well a being named a Presidential Scholar of the Arts in 1993. This honor was bestowed upon Tim at the White House by president Bill Clinton. Willcox was also the recepient of the Stan Getz / Clifford Brown fellowship, presented by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Moving to New Jersey in 1994 to attend internationally acclaimed William Paterson University, Willcox got the chance to study with jazz greats Kenny Burrell, Harold Mabern, Vic Juris, Rufus Reid, Steve Wilson, John Riley, as well as taking lessons outside of school from Rick Margitza, Lee Konitz, and the NY Phil’s David Demsey. After graduating in 1998, Willcox moved to New York City where he played with Marc Copland, Jeff Hirschfield, Vic Juris, Reid Anderson, Ben Monder, Matt Pennman, Scott Mclemore, John Herbert, Michael Kanan, and many other acclaimed musicians.
Since moving to Portland in 2002, Willcox has performed with David Friesen, Randy Porter, Alan Jones, Bobby Torres, George Mitchell, Gary Hobbs, Gary Versace, John Gross, PDXV, and Victor Noriega. Tim has recorded with Gino Vannelli, Randy Porter, Art Hirihara, Ingrid Jensen, Peter Erskine, Larry Grenadier, Marcus Reynolds + Farnell Newton, Bill Athens, Darek Oles, Chris Mosley, and a slew of others. He recently released his second album of original material on Ninjazz Records titled “Superjazzers Vol. 1”. (http://www.ninjazzrecords.com)
A scenic and vibrant city nestled in a landscape of lush scenery, Portland, Oregon is not exactly known for its jazz scene. However, Superjazzers' Vol. 1 represents the city with a depth and refinement normally associated with the jazz greats in New York, as well as other major jazz towns.
Although group name implies a silly sense of sarcasm, don't be fooled. Instead, it belies an emotional depth, conveyed in the set's nine original compositions.
Superjazzers�a saxophone/piano/bass/drums ensemble�will appeal to fans of pianist Keith Jarrett's 1970s European Quartet. Tim Willcox's saxophone sings and, at times, broods passionately and inventively in the vein of Jan Garbarek, as well as modern master Rick Margitza,while pianist David Goldblatt carries shades of subtle piano icons such as Jarrett and Fred Hersch. Holding down the harmonic and rhythmic force of the group, bassist Bill Athens and drummer Charlie Doggett work together masterfully, to establish a lush and fluid backdrop that ebbs and flows flawlessly with the quartet's dramatic musical landscape.
Although the album is consistently strong, standout tracks include the gorgeous, melodically shifting waltz, The Rain Before it Falls, as well as the high-energy jaunt, Vast Crap Perfume Universe. Unlike many jazz albums, this is anything but a straight- ahead blowing session. An unmistakable atmosphere and free-flowing approach tie the tunes together, ensuring that not a single track sounds out of place within the set.
Boasting world-class compositions as well as a strong sense of modern jazz history, Superjazzers' Vol. 1 forges its own path in the realm of contemporary improvised music.
Track Listing: Life On Earth?; Artland; The Rain Before It Falls; Bagel's Revenge; Serduszko; New Wisconsin State Song; Vast Crap Perfume Universe; Facing North; Moab.
Personnel: Tim Wilcox: saxophone; David Goldblatt: piano; Bill Athens: bass; Charlie Doggett: drums.
Record Label: Ninjazz Records
__________________________________________________ Album: ‘Superjazzers’ to the rescue!Tim Willcox saves the universe from Kenny G. by Tom D'Antoni on August 31, 2011 inShare
Not really. The Dead Kenny G’s might have gotten there before him but, we love the concept.
On his site, Tim Willcox states clearly, “My name is Tim Willcox. I play saxophone and write music.” True that. His new album is called Superjazzers. Why in the world would a serious musician have his album cover feature a cartoon of the whole band in cartoon hero outfits? And guess who that is in the heroic pose, saving the day with a tenor sax?
Maybe you don’t know a lot of musicians.
Here’s his explanation:
Brian Levy, an old friend of mine (and fantastic saxophonist) used to use the phrase “Hey Superjazzer”, whenever he greeted me. I always imagined a group of nerdy jazz-dorks who would turn into superheroes in the evenings. They’d repel from the catwalk above a Kenny G concert with their instruments (don’t ask me how this would work. They’re superheroes!) while playing crazy free-jazz. Kenny G’s band would run off-stage and barricade themselves in an air-conditioned dressing room. The audience would be freed from “Kenny G-mind-control” and go out to Tower records and buy a box set of Coltrane or Miles albums.
Makes sense to me.
Willcox plays tenor saxophone, David Goldblatt is on piano, Bill Athens on bass and Charlie Doggett on drums. They also all produced the album. They are some of Portland’s finest Jazz musicians. Here’s what they sound like.
Listen to “Vast Crap Perfume Universe:”
No need to try to categorize Willcox’s kind of Jazz, it’s in the tradition but stretches the tradition, or perhaps remolds it to his liking. You’ll like it too.
__________________________________________________ From Jazz Society of Oregon:
Superjazzers Vol. 1, Tim Willcox.
Saxophonist Willcox is originally from Eugene but cut his professional teeth in New York. Now back in Portland as a refined saxophonist, he is quickly rising, thanks to smart musicianship and a fine compositional sense. The comic book-style cover art doesn't hint at the subtle, compositional nature of the music inside. Joined by pianist David Goldblatt, bassist Bill Athens and drummer Charlie Doggett, Willcox creates a pastiche of styles, from chamber music to bop and Americana folk. The songs are journeys; aural landscapes with a strong sense of place and movement. Willcox doesn't overmuscle his playing. Rather, he lets the tunes move his sense of melody and improvisation. From the lovely brush strokes of The Rain Before it Falls, to the hard-bop-meets-light-funk of Vast Crap Perfume Universe, to the sparse waltz of Moab, there is diversity but also cohesion based on a common thread: long tones mixed with constantly moving chords, accented by Doggett's touch on drums. 2011, Ninjazz Records, 61 minutes.
__________________________________________________ From Rick Margitza:
I met Tim Willcox years ago while living in New York. If I remember correctly, he came to take a lesson or two with me while he was a student at the William Patterson School in New Jersey. I quickly recognized him as being one of those musicians who have something a little extra; something that made him stand out from the rest. Every once in a while, his name will come up in conversations with mutual friends and I am always curious as to what he might be sounding like these days. So when Tim contacted and asked me about writing something about his new recording, I was thrilled. The thing that most struck me after the first listening, were the compositions. I’ve always known and thought of Tim as a player but had never heard any of his writing. The tunes here are beautiful; they all inhabit their own little worlds yet they are part of a bigger universe. When I compose, I often think of a conversation I had with the great saxophonist and composer, Bob Mintzer. He told me to “write your environment”; also about how John Coltrane would use his compositions as a vehicle for his playing. I often talk about how one finds ones voice as a player through his or her compositions. Tim has done that on this recording. His playing here is an organic extension of the songs. He doesn’t fall into the trap of trying to play all the things he’s practiced. You don’t feel him trying to impress you. Instead, his saxophone is a thread in the musical fabric. Sometimes standing out more than others, but only when it needs to be. He’s also surrounded himself with like-minded musicians. I’m a little sorry to say that I was not aware of the playing of bassist Bill Athens and drummer Charlie Dogget. But am happy to have met them here on this project. They both play with a maturity and control that allows them to let the music breathe. I’ve known pianist David Goldblatt for several years. He is one of my favorite piano players on the planet. I regret not having more opportunities to play with him. Here, he sounds better than ever. His beautiful sound and textures make the music sparkle. Keep in mind that this music bears repeated listening. I enjoyed it even more the second time. Soulful, thoughtful, elegant, mature, lyrical, earthy were some of the words that came to mind while listening. Rather than go into a more detailed description, I will leave you with those and I invite you to discover Tim and his music for yourself.
Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.