Adept in almost any setting, Wilson has the rare ability to say more with less and to let the space between each note breathe and resonate" (George Varga, The San Diego Tribune). It is these qualities that have earned STEVE WILSON the enviable position of being on the bandstand and in the studio with the greatest names in jazz. He is also "gifted with fabulous technique and a first-rate sense of what's musical" (Dan Neal, The Palm Beach Post), qualities that have earned him critical acclaim as a bandleader. A musician's musician, Wilson had been documented on over 100 recordings with the likes of Chick Corea, Dave Holland, Dianne Reeves, O.T.B., Donald Brown, Billy Childs, Don Byron, Bill Stewart, James Williams, and Mulgrew Miller. Wilson has six recordings under his own name. His sidemen read as a who's who: Lewis Nash, Cyrus Chestnut, Kevin Hays, Steve Nelson, Gregory Hutchinson, Dennis Irwin, James Genus, Larry Grenedier, Ray Drummond, Ben Riley, Mulgrew Miller, Nicholas Payton, and his current working quartet of Bruce Barth, Ed Howard and Adam Cruz.
In a New York Times poll, Wilson was cited by his peers as one of the most likely artists to break out [on his own] as an established leader. And break out he does with his debut Stretch Records release, Generations. His second release for Stretch Records, Passages, features Bruce Barth, Ed Howard and Adam Cruz, with special guest Nicholas Payton, and nine original tunes written by Wilson. It establishes Wilson as an eclectic songwriter and bandleader, recording for the first time with his working band. The original material reflects upon the wonderful legacy left behind by some of the legends the jazz world has recently lost, and explores straight-ahead swing jazz and delves into strains of R&B, Afro-Cuban and Latin music. Wilson's first four CDs (New York Summit, Step Lively, Blues for Marcus and Four For Time) are on the Criss Cross label.
Wilson's most important recording to date, Soulful Song, was released by MAXJAZZ in June 2003. It features his Quartet: Bruce Barth, Ed Howard and Adam Cruz, and special guests Rene Marie, Carla Cook, Phillip Manuel, James Genus, Billy Kilson, Paul Bollenback and Wilson "Chembo" Corniel. Exploring music from "Black radio, as it was called then, was particularly inclusive in its programming. On the same station one could experience the best or R&B, jazz, blues, gospel, comedy, and social commentary". Wilson includes songs by Stevie Wonder, Chick Corea, Abbey Lincoln, Gil Scott Heron, Earth, Wind & Fire, Patrice Rushen, The Staple Singers, as well as new original material. The recording, the debut of the horn series for MAXJAZZ, issues forth a powerful and provocative performance by the finest musicians in jazz today.