Jimmy Wilson - Future History


I don't remember exactly the time, when I heard about Jimmy Wilson the first time. May be I listened to his trumpet on Slim Man's "Secret Rendezvous" (1997). He also played the flugelhorn on Grainger's "Phase I" (1997). I recently reviewed Grainger "Phase II". Jimmy's first album "Identity" was published on the Replicant label in 1996. Replicant Records and Recording started as a result of so many recording artists not having control of their own music in an ever-changing world. This company is connected with GBM Records. I mention these companies because of their honorable efforts to support independent artists of contemporary jazz, which are partly beyond the typical Smooth Jazz scene. 

Jimmy Wilson's second album  "Future History" is a concept album, a "montage of modern life". Each track on this album tells its own story. Jimmy melts the style of Lee Morgan, Clifford Brown and Miles to his unique sound experience. 

The albums starts with Super Hero. Jimmy describes this figure as "a fictitious comic book character on a mission of civility and love". The tune sounds like a movie score, combining classic instruments as violin, viola, cello and Kathleen Stapelton's soprano vocals with modern electronic sounds, drums, percussion, bass, guitar and Jimmy's muted trumpet. I call it an "opus", to give you an imagination of its mighty variations. In the middle of the piece Jimmy brilliants with some neo-modern jazz elements.

From there in Apparitions, our Super Hero is being waylaid by the forces of evil in the form of a beautiful temptress. This piece contains a spoken dialogue between a man and a woman, enriched with a score like melodic addition. Scott Ambush shows his energetic bass.

Next Aaron Copeland speaks and introduces the title cut, Future History. Jimmy's trumpet grows to a monumental dimension.

Restless Intonation combines N'dinga Gaba's turntables with horn arrangements to a spectacular soundscape. Gary Thomas plays the sax and Dennis Chambers takes over the propulsive drums part. A similarity to John McLaughlin's music is obvious.

The Ear of the Beholder unfolds a sad tale of man's inhumanity and world hostility unfolds. Jimmy develops anew a soundscape of rhythm signals, muted trumpet and flugelhorn. Even a didgeridoo (an Australian instrument of the aborigines) is played by Troy Straszheim.

Following in Fortune Teller, our Super Hero deciphers a message. Jimmy takes the further step to jazz fusion.

Love Mission finds our Hero accepting all responsibility for his odyssey. French spoken words introduce Jimmy's next jazz fusion creation which change to a conglomerate of world music, African rhythms and finally to Mark Wood's explosion of electric violin. A voyage to new sound experiences steadily driven by Chester Thompson's fuliminant drums play.

In Cirque his mission is accomplished and everyone rejoices. Gerald Veasley's bass is just one of the artists which are creating a work, which cannot be described with words. Unique, original, not comparable.

In Dreams our Hero asks the question, "Was this adventure real or imagined?" Jimmy experiences with rhythms, sounds and melody fragments developing sound-paintings of superiors quality.

I understand Jimmy Wilson's album "Future History" as an epic work comparable for example with Mussorky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" for piano (1874). The tightness of the playing of all artists mediates us a new sound-experience, never heard before. 

Further information
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