Friday, May 9, 2014

RIP Joe Wilder (1922-2014)

Joe Wilder at IJS
(Photo by Ed Berger)
Ed Berger, his good friend and biographer, reports the passing of Joe Wilder earlier today. Wilder, somehow like Hank Jones, was a gentleman, a dedicated craftsman in his instrument, from which he extracted the most beautiful sound, soft yet slightly brassy. With him gone, yet another window to the past is closed, but at least we have Berger's biography, which is already available. And we'll always have the records.

This is an article about Wilder by Berger. Here, he's at Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz on NPR.

This is Wilder taming an old warhorse.

Here he caresses another bebop greyhound, "How High the Moon". That was my first Wilder on record.

And this is the man himself, doing an overview of his long and illustrious career.

These below are the two albums he did for Columbia in 1958-1959. Personnel on The Pretty Sound (recorded on December 1 & 3, 1958) includes Urbie Green (tb), Phil Bodner or Jerry Sanfino (various reeds), Jerome Richardson (sax, cl), Hank Jones (p), Al Casamenti (g), George Duvivier (b), and Don Lamond or Osie Johnson (d).

On Peter Gunn (recorded on January 18, 1959), he's with Hank Jones (p), Milt Hinton (b), and John Cresci Jr. (d).

Fresh Sound of Barcelona has recently reunited Wilder's Savoy sessions with Hank Jones in one CD, Such a Beautiful Sound (FSRCD 812). The CD also includes a group led by altoist Pete Brown, but in the list below, I've only included the quartet with the house rhythm section at Savoy, Hank Jones on piano, Wendell Marshall on bass, and Kenny Clarke on drums. The first two tracks were recorded at Van Gelder's in Hackensack, on November 29, 1955, the rest on January 19, 1956.

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