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.
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