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Joe Wilder Joe Wilder

Joe Wilder is an NEA Jazz Master

Joe Wilder turned eighty on February 22, 2002, an occasion marked by celebrations at the Arbors Records “March of Jazz” party in Clearwater, Florida, at the “Jazz in July” series at New York's 92nd Street Y, and at two tribute concerts: at the Smithsonian in March and at Lincoln Center in August. Best of all, Wilder himself performed at all these events in the same inimitable style that has been captivating audiences and fellow musicians since the late 1930s. For his third Evening Star release, we decided to continue the celebration in the studio by gathering some of Joe's favorite musicians to play with him in various combinations. The repertoire consists of pieces Joe likes to play but has never had the chance to record, including some of the finest examples of the American popular songbook.

Of the guest artists, Frank Wess and Joe have been friends since the early 1940s. Joe, who was with the Philadelphia-based Harlem Dictators at the time, recalls meeting Frank in Annapolis where the saxophonist was working with Jimmy Golden's band. Later, they were colleagues in Count Basie's orchestra. Joe has known Bucky Pizzarelli since the 1950s when both became stalwarts in the New York studios. Warren Vaché and Joe have a mutual admiration society going back two decades. They have conducted clinics and have played together at many jazz parties through the years. “Joe is my idol,” Warren says. “When I grow up, I want to be just like Joe Wilder!”

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Album Among Friends by Joe Wilder

Among Friends

Evening Star Records


The Pretty Sound

Kedar Entertainment Group




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