Born: August 4, 1961
Dan Wilensky was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and moved to Berkeley the following year. Music was in the air at the Wilensky house: every family member played at least one instrument, and family jam sessions were frequent. He began piano lessons at age 8 and saxophone the following year after hearing the Duke Ellington Orchestra perform at Berkeley High School on a field trip. Dan flourished in the rich school music program created by Herb Wong, Dick Whittington, and Phil Hardymon, and also studied with BHS grad Steve Elson, and his teacher, Hal Stein. As a teenager, he street played, performed with schoolmates Benny Green, Craig Handy and Steve Bernstein, gigged with local bands, attended jazz clinics, won top honors in various competitions, performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival three times, and was a guest soloist with Woody Herman. When he was 17, Dan studied for a year with jazz legend Joe Henderson, and received a scholarship to the Eastman School of Music.
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There are only two kinds of music. Good Music and the other kind.
So said Duke Ellington, and probably a whole bunch of other people. Good Music is saxophonist Dan
Wilensky's examination of music for music's sake, his unpretentious serving the music recording. Seven of
the eleven tunes are chordless trio affairs, bringing—as a touchstone—Sonny Rollins' groundbreaking A
Night At the Village Vanguard (Blue Note, 1958) to mind with its fearless flexibility and Wilensky's muscular
and assured tone. Especially on the opener, George Gershwin's S'Wonderful.
Good Music is a remarkably cohesive set, in spite of its disparate compositional sources—Gershwin, The
Beatles, The Youngbloods, Sammy Cahn, Pablo Beltran Ruiz, George Cates, to go along with five strong
Willing to teach
Beginner to advanced
I've been teaching saxophone, flute and piano for 40 years. Many of my students, including Joshua Redman,
Craig Handy, and Chris
Byars, have gone on to true greatness. All ages and levels welcome; music therapy; flexible hours; same
rates as 1977!
Riveting and fun as all hell!