Personnel: Matt Wilson (drums, timpani).
Recording information: Maggie's Farm (05/2010).
Photographer: Matt Wilson .
Drummer Matt Wilson's 2010 holiday-themed album Matt Wilson's Christmas Tree-O is an inspired and creative effort that balances a cheerful, festive vibe with progressive, avant-garde flair. Joining Wilson here are longtime bandmates reedman Jeff Lederer and bassist Paul Sikivie. Taking on such yuletide chestnuts as "Winter Wonderland," "Christmas Time Is Here," "O Come O Come Emmanuel," and "I'll Be Home for Christmas," Wilson's trio avoids much of the stale predictability of many similarly themed efforts by treating the material as pure jazz. In that sense, such songs as "The Chipmunk Song," "You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch," and the gloriously skronky "Hallelujah Chorus" bring to mind a mix of the bluesy, motivic style of Sonny Rollins and the experimental, forward-thinking free jazz of David S. Ware. For collectors searching for holiday albums that are left of center and for hardcore jazz aficionados, Matt Wilson's Christmas Tree-O is a welcome stocking stuffer. ~ Matt Collar
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