Power Of Nine (2006)

Wilson, Rowles, Pearson

Anthony Wilson Nonet

Make It Good - A simple, swinging Duke Pearson com- position from his album, “The Right Touch,” the original version featured beautiful solos from Pearson and Freddie Hubbard. My arrangement is a reworking of Pearson’s chart. But why the title? It must have gotten its name from three smart-aleck words often uttered just prior to an important performance

Quadras - In Portuguese: blocks (city blocks); or also, verses/quatrains, such as those often sung as a part of Capoeira, the Afro-Brazilian martial art. The building blocks for my Quadras are repeating musical sections, thematically related, and connected by means of metric/rhythmic modulations, improvisations, or modu- lations of key. Together, the four Quadras make up one longer piece structured from beginning to end; equally, each section can stand on its own. The piece was written in anticipation of a New Year’s holiday in Brazil; its harmony is very influenced by the writing of Ivan Lins. Ano Novo opens the window to a new year. Vila Madalena is the neighborhood in Sa?o Paulo where my dear friend, the great guitarist and composer Chico Pin- heiro, lives. Coisinha (“little thing”) is what you might call someone you truly adore. Javali? Witness is, naturally, the Religious Sect of the Wild Boar.....

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Power Of Nine (2006)

Wilson, Rowles, Pearson

Anthony Wilson Nonet

    Analog Planet -

Wilson shines both as an arranger, comfortably in the grip of Gil Evans, and as a precise master of the hollow-bodied electric guitar. The set opens strongly with a reworking of “Make It Good,” an old Duke Pearson tune that harkens back to a pleasing time before jazz got over intellectualized, when it was sufficient for it to just swing and make you feel good. The arrangement is appropriately anchored by Donald Vega’s piano, though there’s room for others to solo. Wilson stays back, preferring to take the spotlight on the introspective second tune “I and Thou,” from “Tokyo Wednesday,” a suite of compositions written by Wilson during a period of extensive international travel. Sumptuously arranged for brass and reeds, the tune evokes the glow of a relaxing, satisfying late night interlude after a strenuous day. At least that’s what it did for this listener. The Krall guest spot is equally evocative and inviting. “Looking Back” is a forthright recollection of a childhood home that Krall brings to life effectively, and appropriately, without vocal embellishments. Wilson’s arrangement drives the point home without sinking into cornpone. Wilson’s notes explain both the inspiration (a New Year’s holiday in Brazil) and the musical construction of Quadras. A mandolin joins the Nonet on two of Quadras, adding a nimble texture to the setting. The side ends with the slinky “Amalgamation,” a segment of a suite commissioned by the Cerritos Center For The Performing Arts as part of a double bill in which Joe Lovano’s Nonet played selections from Miles Davis’s Birth of the Cool. The title, Wilson says in the notes, concerns the joining of two musician’s unions in L.A., an event that took place back when Davis issued the original album. Engineer Michael C. Ross’s pickup of drummer Mark Ferber’s snare drum on “Melatonin Dream” will blow your cookies! As for the rest of the sound of this album, it is easily the best sounding album of Ross’s Groove Note recordings, possessing a transparency, three dimensionality and harmonic fullness his previous efforts, excellent as they were, cannot match. He’s backed off the drums a bit, especially his tendency to pan them across the stage, and this gives the album a greater sense of “live” and less of a “studio” sound. The horns, reeds, and keyboards sound alarmingly real, with the recording delivering both image and ensemble three dimensionality in spades. Especially impressive though in terms of recording quality are the textures and timbres of Wilson’s guitar playing: they are crystalline clear yet warm and full bodied, so you get the pluck delivered cleanly with a bell-toned follow through and the harmonic structure intact. A super album on all counts: atmospheric, evocative, richly drawn and emotionally complete. You couldn’t ask for more. Producer Joe Harley has put it all together to deliver his best production to date. At least that I know of. If jazz isn’t your thing but you’d like a way in, I can’t think of a better introduction musically and especially sonically. Highest recommendation! Music: 10 out of 10 Sound: 11 out of 10

Michael Fremer[read full review]

    Jazz Times

It’s rare for a guitarist to act selflessly and even rarer for him or her to compose with ambition. Anthony Wilson, whose leader work may have finally outshined his gig as a Diana Krall sideman, makes the ensemble and the music his first priority on Power of Nine. As overstated as it might sound, Power of Nine communicates an elegant authority similar to that of Oliver Nelson’s seminal Impulse! recordings, particularly Blues and the Abstract Truth. Wilson’s horn arrangements, like Nelson’s, breathe and swell in spacious, majestic statements and often demand more attention than the solos. The two albums also share the sparkling clarity in production that audiophiles crave. Highlights include the opening cover of Duke Pearson’s “Make It Good,” where Wilson coaxes swing-era grandeur from a mid-size ensemble, and the title track where Wilson exercises Kessel-style bop mastery and the rest of the group burns with equal deftness atop frantic swing. The album’s centerpiece is four Brazil-inspired “Quadras,” during which the ensemble tackles an array of compositional shades and textures: from straightahead to world-influenced, meditative to feverish. “Quadra 3 (Coisinha)” sambas delicately before Wilson and mandolinist Eva Scow engage in a thrilling game of cat-and-mouse. “Quadra 4 (Javali Witness)” explodes in a full-ensemble passage that relinquishes focus briefly to the rhythm section and ends with a powerhouse horn-section-only melody.

Evan Haga[read full review]

Power Of Nine (2006)

Wilson, Rowles, Pearson

Anthony Wilson Nonet

Cables: AudioQuest
Digital Converters: Meitner
Editing Software: Sonoma
Mastering Engineer: David Glasser - Airshow Studios
Mastering Room: DSD 128 and DSD 256 Download Files Created by Tom Caulfield at the NativeDSD Mastering Lab, Marshfield, MA
Notes: We are pleased to announce the availability of Groove Note releases in DSD 128 and DSD 256, in addition to the original DSD 64 releases. These higher bit rate DSD 128 and DSD 256 releases are all pure DSD created. They are not up samplings, for there are no PCM or DXD conversions involved in their production. They are re-modulations of the original DSD 64 encoding modulation that produced the DSD 64 releases. The sonic advantage to these new Stereo and Multichannel DSD 128 and DSD 256 releases, as with all higher DSD bit rate releases, is the wider frequency passband prior to the onset of modulation noise.This results in the listener’s DAC using gentler and more phase linear filters for playback of the music.
Producer: Joe Harley
Recording Engineer: Michael C. Ross -
Recording location: Sunset Sound, Hollywood CA. USA
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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GRV1035: Power Of Nine
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Tracks.
1.
Make It Good
Pearson
00:06:22   Select quality & channels above
2.
I And Thou
Wilson
00:05:36   Select quality & channels above
3.
Looking Back
Rowles
00:06:40   Select quality & channels above
4.
Quadra 1 (Ano Novo)
Wilson
00:01:23   Select quality & channels above
5.
Quadra 2 (Coizinha)
Wilson
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6.
Quadra 3 (Vila Madalena)
Wilson
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7.
Quadra 4 (Javali Witness)
Wilson
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8.
Amalgamation
Wilson
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9.
Melatonin Dream
Wilson
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10.
Hymn
Wilson
00:07:20   Select quality & channels above
11.
Power Of Nine
Wilson
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12.
Bird In A Basket
Wilson
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