Word has come via Mosaic Records that pianist Jack Wilson has passed away. Wilson’s best-known leader dates were two 1960s Blue Note albums, Easterly Winds (featuring the hardbop dynamic duo of Jackie McLean and Lee Morgan) and Something Personal. He’s also present and accounted for with some fine comping and soloing on several of Gerald Wilson’s 1960s Pacific Jazz big-band sessions. You can hear Wilson on a number of tracks from our program Vibin’: Roy Ayers in the 1960s. A brief report on yesterday’s wake indicates that some sort of musical tribute may be planned to Wilson. Often relegated to the “good-not-great” category, he was a part of the interesting early-1960s West Coast/Hollywood jazz scene that tends to be overshadowed by the 1950s Mulligan-Baker-Shank era. Local angle for south/central Indiana readers of the blog: he also figured in Indiana University’s thriving late-1950s jam sessions.
*The jazz blogger who never sleeps, Marc Myers, has posted parts 1 and 2 of an interview he did with alto saxophonist Hal McKusick, with a promise of part 3 to come Wednesday. (Check out McKusick’s RCA Jazz Workshop date).
*David Yaffe in the new issue of The Nation on Sonny Rollins at Carnegie Hall last month.
*New and recent jazz books: a collection of conversations with Lee Konitz, a Lester Young biography, and a compendium of interviews with musicians and writers on jazz and literature, taken from the journal Brilliant Corners (I started reading this tonight and will post a review in the next few days).