One of the benefits of living as a music fan in L.A. is our proximity to a show with guitarist Anthony Wilson.
The son of the revered bandleader and arranger Gerald Wilson, who died at 96 in 2014, Wilson can be heard in his usual gig backing vocalist Diana Krall or leading his own ensemble. In recent years, Wilson performed multiple residencies at the beloved Little Tokyo jazz incubator the Blue Whale (complete with an eclectic wine list curated by Wilson himself).
One of those dates included an unforgettable performance that found Wilson backed by local organist Larry Goldings and drummer Jim Keltner, a first-call session musician who has backed a who's who of music royalty. A reprise of the lineup of Wilson's 2009 album "Jack of Hearts," the night shifted between jazz and rock, nodding at various points toward Bob Dylan and Milton Nascimento with seamless dexterity. (You can watch videos from the show on Wilson's site.)
Now, almost four years later, a spiritual sequel to that night is on the way with Wilson's upcoming album "Frogtown." Drawing from influences that fed his career as a jazz artist, Wilson's 10th album includes guest spots from Keltner, drummer Matt Chamberlain and violinist Petra Haden in addition to earthy vocals by Wilson himself.
Listen to "She Won't Look Back" below, an arid, noirish track that recalls the wide open vistas of Ry Cooder. "Frogtown" is scheduled for release on April 15.