In the new album and photobook "Songs and Photographs
" made in creative collaboration with artbook publisher Little Steidl Anthony Wilson brings together a collection of his songs and 35mm photographs that opens a new chapter in his broadening quest for personal and musical authenticity.
"Most mornings I wake up and go out wandering with my camera, sometimes in my hometown of Los Angeles, often in places around the world where I am traveling on tour. I look, watch, and take in the space around me. Im conscious of my attentive state, totally absorbed in noticing things.
My path determines itself, each picture leads me to the next. It's a meandering journey through a landscape or cityscape, but also through my own personal experience. Often the smallest things are what stop me in my tracks and compel me to point the camera and snap the shutter.
At these moments I sense that a fleeting intimacy of the everyday has opened up to me, and I feel lucky to be present to witness it. The world is alive to me as a place of wonder, improbability, and visual fascination.
I take pictures, recording my perceptions and observations onto the film, and, in this way, they become communicable and visible to another.
This reportage has seeped naturally into my songwriting. In my notebook, I write down thoughts or verses that come to mind, also chronicling what I observe and experience. Lines from one place and time find their partners in lines from another place and time. Melodies appear, rhymes and meters coalesce, harmonies resolve themselves.
In Songs and Photographs the visual and musical paths of my process converge into a single work in which the songs and the photographs speak back and forth to each other.
Making pictures has shown me this: anything I see, experience, or feel has the right to be in a song. And putting those actual things the tiniest moments into my songs, has paved a way toward expressing the personal and the intimate in a fullness I had not quite realized before." - Anthony Wilson
Born in Los Angeles in 1968, guitarist and composer Anthony Wilson is known for a body of work that moves fluidly across genres.
The son of legendary jazz trumpeter and bandleader Gerald Wilson, his musical lineage has deeply influenced his creative trajectory, compositional choices, instrumental groupings, and the wide-ranging twelve album discography that blooms out of them.
His first album, Anthony Wilson (1997), featured a nine-piece little big band and received a Grammy nomination for Best Large Ensemble Jazz Recording. It was followed by Goat Hill Junket (1998), and Adult Themes (2000). His fourth recording with the nonet, Power of Nine (2006), was recognized as one of the top ten jazz albums of the year by the New Yorker. Wilsons acclaimed trio albums Our Gang (2001), Savivity (2005), and Jack of Hearts (2009) reimagine and reframe the Hammond organ-based genre of post-bop, soul-inflected jazz. In 2011, Wilson released Seasons, a live record and short film documenting the compositional process and premiere performance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art of his extended song cycle of the same name. The cycle was written for and performed on a quartet of guitars called The Four Seasons, handcrafted by luthier John Monteleone specially for the project. That same year, Wilson released Campo Belo, a collection of original instrumental songs recorded in São Paulo, Brazil.
Traveling into, through, and beyond genres, Frogtown (2016) marked a turning point for Wilson as a composer and his debut as a singer. Renowned producer Mike Elizondo teamed with him to realize this collection of layered, intimate musical stories and portraits. Frogtown sets the stage for Wilsons latest, Songs and Photographs (2018), in which his distilled, personal musical compositions enter into a dialogue with his 35mm photography. The work develops from two intertwined paths, one sonic and one visual, that increasingly play complementary roles in Wilsons creative process.
An inventive soloist and sensitive accompanist, he has been a core member of Diana Kralls quartet since 2001, after joining her for a series of concerts in Paris at the Olympia Theater, which became the Grammy award winning recording and concert film Live in Paris (2002).