Word has come that Gerald Wilson died today in Los Angeles. A swing era trumpeter, he became the pioneering leader, composer and arranger of a modern big band that was a significant presence for more than sixty years. Wilson enriched the language of large ensembles by employing expanded harmonic structures. He was noted for, among other things, his colorful music inspired by Mexican bull fighting. For an obituary, see Don Heckman’s article in today’s Los Angeles Times.
In a post to come, I will have reflections on Wilson’s considerable contributions. In the meantime, here is the best known of his bull fighter series, “Viva Tirado,” this version featuring Joe Pass as guitar soloist, Carmell Jones on trumpet and Teddy Edwards playing tenor saxophone.
Gerald Wilson, 96, RIP