ANTHONY WILSON NONET / Power of Nine
“Diana Krall lends a breathy vocal to Cheryl Ernst/Jimmy Rowles ‘ “Looking Back,” a wistful remembrance of childhood… For a nonet, it’s amazing how well the instruments lay out on the soundstage, uncluttered but vibrant, with the intimacy of a house concert.” – The Absolute Sound, December 2006
A new album by Anthony Wilson featuring the super talented and top selling jazz vocalist Diana Krall with whom Anthony has been recording and touring with for the last three to four years. Very special guest Ms. Krall appears on the track entitled “Looking Back” on vocals. This album features a mixture of Anthony Wilson originals with some jazz standards mixed in.
The Anthony Wilson Nonet with very special guest vocalist Diana Krall gathered in Studio 2 of Sunset Sound in Hollywood (the quite legendary recording location for Led Zeppelin 2 and 4, almost every Doors album, Janis Joplin’s Pearl, James Taylor’s Sweet Baby James and many other classic rock & pop albums). Producer Joe Harley and engineer Mike Ross got things going around midday and Anthony and the Nonet had recorded 3 original Anthony Wilson tunes (featuring teenage mandolin sensation Eva Scow) by the late afternoon when Diana Krall arrived. Ms. Krall stayed for several hours and recorded a brilliant and deeply moving performance of the tune Looking Back which was written and arranged by one of her mentors, the legendary Jimmy Rowles. No exaggeration to say that this selection could be one of the best vocal cuts ever recorded by Groove Note and one of the audiophile highlights of the year to come.
Days two and three were spent recording a further dozen songs including a fabulous Duke Pearson cover Make It Good which with it’s 21st century Basie-esque sound will most likely open the album. Other standout tracks include the superbly performed and beautifully played Tokyo Vamp featuring the ultra-talented Darek Oles on bass; the dynamic and powerful original, Amalgamation, featuring drummer Mark Ferber; and the third part of a suite called Quadra 3 with a sublime samba segue.
The album is the latest and most ambitious effort by Anthony Wilson. Following upon his two Groove Note releases (Our Gang and Savivity), Anthony, who has been playing full time with Diana Krall for the last 3-4 years is increasingly regarded as one of the most talented guitarist-composer-arrangers working in jazz today. This album will surely cement that reputation and with its programme of original tunes and rewarding arrangements, influences ranging from Gil Evans and Charlie Mingus all the way to Weather Report and John Mclaughlin, as well as its dense and highly diverse palette of complex chords, sounds and textures, this release will provide continual listening pleasure for serious jazz fans & audiophiles alike.
Expect sound that will be punchy and dynamic with many crescendos from the horns that retain a rich and seductive sonority but also with layers of sound as well as individual instruments to be resolved. The Diana Krall track will surely become ‘the’ audiophile vocal demo of choice in years to come but other tracks like Make It Good and Amalgamation will put any audiophile system through its paces, testing rhythm, dynamics and tonal balance!
The album was mixed by Joe Harley and Mike Ross at LA-FX on Jan. 19th-21st with Gus Skinas handling the direct to DSD mixdown from the 2 inch multitrack analogue masters. A half inch 30 ips stereo analogue master was also prepared for the 180g LP release.
Anthony Wilson, guitar
Diana Krall, vocal (3)
Eva Scow, mandolin (6,7)
Adam Schroeder, baritone sax
Alan Ferber, trombone
Mark Ferber, drums
Matt Otto, tenor sax
Matt Zebley, alto and soprano sax
Gilbert Castellanos, trumpet
Donald Vega, piano
Darek “Oles” Oleszkiewicz, bass
1. Make It Good
2. I and Thou (from Tokyo Wednesday)
3. Looking Back (feat. Diana Krall)
4. Quadra 1 (Ano Novo)
5. Quadra 2 (Vila Madalena)
6. Quadra 3 (Coisinha)
7. Quadra 4 (Javalie Witness)
9. Melatonin Dream (from Tokyo Wednesday)
11. Power of Nine
“No mere accompanist (despite backing Madeleine Peyroux as well as [Diana] Krall), he plays superbly on two vintage Gibsons and a John Monteleone custom Radio Flyer Guitar. His playing and that of his group is top notch. The five horn frontline gives this an orchestral feeling, and Wilson’s guitar is mixed in well with the group rather than demanding front and center stage… Another successful recording from Groove Note.” – Music Review, Popular Contemporary
Upon review the LP version of Power of 9: “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 record, it is easily the best sounding record of Ross’s Groove Note records, possessing a transparency, three dimensionality and harmonic fullness his previous efforts, excellent as they were, cannot match… A super record on all counts: atmospheric, evocative, richly drawn and emotionally complete. You couldn’t ask for more… Highest recommendation!” – Michael Fremer, www.musicangle.com Click Here to read the entire review!
“Anthony Wilson’s Power of Nine has a very even and enjoyable flow and coming from Sunset Sound Studios means the sound quality is excellent. …The playing is all top shell with the compositions and arrangements being extremely inventive and thematic in nature.” – www.jazzreview.com Click Here to read the entire review!