Nice piece of writing by Ben Ratliff in today’s New York Times. He covered the concert in which 87-year-old Gerald Wilson took over the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Ratfliff reports that Wilson “hijacked the evening.”
Mr. Wilson made the show an exclamation point. He stalked the front of the stage, his white mane turned to the audience and his piercing eyes trained on the band. His body was tuned to the music — dislodging rich, overstuffed harmonies of brass and reeds and quelling them, socking his right fist into his left hand to drive the rhythm section harder, ending songs crisply.
To read the whole thing, go here.
Anybody who’s ever seen Wilson lead his band knows what a master he is at energizing musicians, making them swing as hard as they are capable.