Dave Wilson Quartet
Gig Seeker Pro

Dave Wilson Quartet

Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1989 | SELF | AFM

Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 1989
Band Jazz Fusion




"From Michael Gladstone; All About Jazz; April 2006"

My Time
The Dave Wilson Quartet | Dreambox Media (2006)
By Michael P. Gladstone

"Dave Wilson's debut album, Through The Time (2002), presented him as a post-Coltrane soprano and tenor saxophonist with a penchant for melody. On My Time, recorded with a Pennsylvania group, he retains bassisst Steve Meashey, adding pianist Matt Hockmiller and drummer Tony Deangelis.

Wilson opens the album with an unusual choice, Alec Wilder's “Moon and Sand,” which he plays as a ballad on both soprano and tenor sax. The remaining ten selections include five originals, plus “Just Friends,” Kenny Wheeler's “Smatter,” Bill Evans' “Time Remembered” and an original arrangement of ”Summertime.” Wilson offers two versions of the Gershwin classic: first, a six-minute take on the third track, then the twelve-minute closer, with plenty of room to display his tenor sax technique.

Wilson does show a keen sense of melody, as well as the ability to turn the heat a notch up on the uptempo tracks. His ballad “Song for Lisa,” performed on soprano sax, is attractive. Pianist Matt Hochmiller provides several punchy solo statements, while Meashey and Deangelis supply a simmering cushion for the quartet."

Michael P. Gladstone – allaboutjazz.com
- All about Jazz

"Karl Stark, Feb. 26, 2006 Philadelphia Inquirer Newspaper"

Dave Wilson
My Time
(Dreambox Media ***)

"Lancaster, Pa.-based saxophonist Dave Wilson can change your mind about the hipness of Amish country.
Wilson, 50, who studied with saxophone biggie Joe Lovano and gigs around in the Dixieland band Canal Street Hot 6 and the more modern Crazeology, is a threat throughout the woodwind family. It's cool to hear him throw some free-jazz squeals into a happening mainstream vibe with pianist Matt Hochmiller, bassist Steve Meashey, and drummer Tony Deangelis.

Wilson is a fluid player who gets around the horn - mostly soprano and tenor - and blends in wherever he lands. Much of this set, like the Wilson original "Funtime," is easy to take in, though "Apocalyptic Blues," with the "Maiden Voyage"-like piano accompaniment, can get more involved.

Wilson's blaring tenor in "Blues on Parade" projects a persuasive, lounge-lizard feel, while Wilson's arrangement of "Summertime" squeezes some new moves from an overworked chestnut."

-K.S. Karl Stark
- Philadelphia Inquirer

"Forrest Dylan Bryant, JAZZ TIMES MARCH 2007"

From Jazz Times:

"Dave Wilson’s second CD makes a subdued entrance with a gently flowing ballad led by long, clear tones from Wilson’s soprano sax. But just when you thin you’ve got him figured out, the tables are turned. It’s Wilson’s gruff, streetwise tenor that dominates this outing, with a merry band of Philadelphia musicians keeping the vibe straight-up and swinging. They hit their peak in a compelling version of “Summertime” (presented here in two versions), with Wilson’s passionate blowing going into overdrive above the riffing rhythm section. Five original tunes offer catchy hooks and warm moods, keeping the disc buzzing along nicely..." - Jazz Times Magazine

"Downbeat Magazine - Review of "Spiral" - Dave Wilson Quartet"

From Downbeat Magazine (3 and 1/2 stars):

“With a crack band in pianist Phil Markowitz, bassist Tony Marino and Adam Nussbaum on drums, saxophonist Dave Wilson knows how to pick them and the music...sparked by Wilson's edgy yet loose tenor playing along with vivid comping and soloing by Markowitz, sold support from Marino and sensitive yet fiery playing from the always reliable Nussbaum...indicates a band comfort level both wide and deep.” - Downbeat Magazine

"Jazz Times - Review of "Spiral" - Dave Wilson Quartet"

From Jazz Times:

"With stellar support from Pianist Phil Markowitz, Bassist Tony Marino, and drummer Adam Nussbaum, Pennsylvania-based saxophonist-educator Dave Wilson elevates his game and blows with authority on this collection of originals and smartly plucked covers. From the aggressive title track (with Wilson channeling his inner Trane on tenor) to the soothing bossa nova “Ocean Blue”, the expansive modal number “Movin’ On” and an intriguing variation on Scott LaFaro’s “Gloria’s Step” (titled “Like GS Step 2”) the saxophonist showcases a bold sound, fertile ideas, and fluid lines." - Jazz Times

"Dave Wilson Quartet, There Was Never (Zoho 201512; 65:34 +++)"

From Downbeat Magazine, February 2016, Josef Woodard
Dave Wilson Quartet, There Was Never (Zoho 201512; 65:34 +++) With his fourth album, Dave Wilson, on tenor and soprano saxophones, puts a strong foot forward, backed by a tight and raring-to-go rhythm section of young pianist Bobby Avey, bassist Tony Marino and drummer Alex Ritz. From the tricky, pulsing energy of the opening “The Time Has Come,” on which the saxophonist brandishes his big tone and easily tumbling facility, to the simple folk theme of “On The Prairie,” There Was Never makes a varied and mostly powerful impact. - Downbeat Magazine, February 2016, Josef Woodard

"Dave Wilson "There Was Never" By DAN BILAWSKY, for All About Jazz Published: December 25, 2015"

Saxophonist Dave Wilson cuts an imposing figure on the cover of There Was Never, his fourth album in total and his first on the Zoho Music imprint. There's intensity fixed on his face, with eyes closed in concentration and embouchure set for attack. And then there's his tenor saxophone. It has a larger than life presence in the photo. This is the picture of a man on a mission, a leader who knows what he wants, a musician who knows how to handle his horn. The music, thankfully, says the exact same thing(s).

Wilson, a fixture on the Pennsylvania jazz scene, has focused on the quartet format with all of his albums—Through The Time (Self Produced, 2002), My Time (DreamBox Media, 2006), Spiral (Summit Records, 2010), and this engrossing date. But that doesn't mean he's settled on a formula. Quite the contrary, in fact. Wilson is still working things out, trying new things, and altering lineups. He's finding different ways to explore the most familiar of formats and he sounds great doing it. Here, he teams with rising star pianist Bobby Avey, a bold adventurer who dissects harmonies and grooves in unexpected ways; drummer Alex Ritz, a firm yet malleable presence behind the kit; and Tony Marino, a ballasting bassist who happens to be the only holdover from Wilson's previous outing. They make for a strong grouping, a bit more unpredictable and restless than the band that appeared on Spiral.

The album kicks off with "The Time Has Come," a tilted Afro-Cuban winner that finds Wilson marking his territory with some assertive blowing and Avey delivering a choppy statement of his own. Wilson then switches to soprano for a jammy jaunt through The Grateful Dead's "Cassidy" and a euphonious "God Only Knows" that wisely avoids complication. From there he further diversifies. There's a groove-morphing "There Was Never," a song based on "There Will Never Be Another You" that keeps the rhythmic change-ups coming; a vibrant "Smooth Sailing," singing and rolling along with calypso-ish glee; "Master Plan," a number that juxtaposes Coltrane-esque intensity against an open framework that's more in keeping with Ornette Coleman's work; and a Brazilian-based "Feeling Peaceful," a number that's far more mutable than your typical beach-friendly bossa nova.

These are protean players who take joy in stretching an idea, but they never completely upend the music. They create squalls and then weather them together. The final two tracks on the album—a 12/8 rewrite on "Summertime" that's more fire music than spiritual and a free jazz finale dubbed "On The Prairie"—simply further the notion that Dave Wilson is anything but set in his ways. There Was Never is as complete a musical statement as you can come by these days. Dull moments seem to be the only thing missing from this package.
Track Listing: The Time Has Come; Cassidy; God Only Knows; There Was Never; Smooth Sailing; Master Plan; Feeling Peaceful; Summertime; On The Prairie.
Personnel: Dave Wilson: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Bobby Avey: piano; Tony Marino: acoustic bass; Alex Ritz: drums.
Record Label: Zoho Music - All About Jazz

"Dave Wilson Quartet – There Was Never – Zoho"

Published on December 28, 2015
Dave Wilson Quartet – There Was Never [TrackList follows] – Zoho ZM 201512, 65:33 (11/6/15) ****:
(Dave Wilson – tenor, soprano saxophone, producer; Bobby Avey – piano; Tony Marino – acoustic bass; Alex Ritz – drums)
When it’s cool outside, you can warm up with saxophonist Dave Wilson. Wilson’s latest outing, the hour-long There Was Never, arrives five years after his previous effort, Spiral (2010), and as usual his music boils and simmers, and is always as embracing as a hot toddy or heated apple cider (or wassail). On Spiral, Wilson led a quartet through scintillating originals and atypical covers. Wilson follows a similar path with his new material, which comprises six originals and three interpretive tracks. This time, Wilson uses pianist Bobby Avey, drummer Alex Ritz and bassist Tony Marino (who was on Spiral). Ritz, Avey and Marino are also members of Dave Liebman’s Expansions band, which means there’s a lot of simpatico communication.
There’s plenty of instinctive liveliness on the seven-minute opener, “The Time Has Come,” which is fronted by Wilson’s commanding tenor sax. If a listener thinks of Trane, there’s a reason. Wilson acknowledges in the liner notes (via a Bill Milkowski interview), “John Coltrane was the guy that got me into playing the saxophone. He was really one of the first jazz musicians I heard and the most influential person I listened to.” Near the halfway mark, Avey provides a bristly solo; and throughout Ritz stirs things up on the 12/8 groove. Wilson shows another side to his composing and playing on the record’s lengthiest cut, “Master Plan,” which includes some of Wilson’s most impressive sax work. Wilson admits Ornette Coleman was a partial stimulus on this composition. The intricate arrangement, Wilson explains, is “basically a concept where the head has a mixed meter, going back and forth between 3/4 and 4/4, and the solos happen going in and out of a B pedal tone in the bass.” Notably, there are no harmonic chord changes, so everyone solos with abandon. If that description sounds unorthodox, it is, but no fear, this tune swings while remaining a platform for Wilson’s spacious soloing. Avey also shines here, swelling to an intense climax and then slowing to supply spiky single notes.
A friendly feeling suffuses some numbers. The melodically genial and upbeat “Smooth Sailing” has a comfortable calypso seasoning, and is a nod to Wilson’s love for being out on the water where propulsion comes from a welcoming wind. Wilson tacks along on tenor, while the rhythm section furnishes a suitably fluid flow. During “Smooth Sailing,” Ritz delivers a distinctive drum solo in the middle portion, and during the second half Wilson quotes from musical sources which astute listeners might identify. “Feeling Peaceful” cruises with a supple bossa nova ambiance. One of this track’s highlights is Marino’s sinuous bass improvisation.
On the other hand, anyone who expects a quiet, mellow vibe on the Gershwinstandard, “Summetime,” will be in for a surprise. This eight-minute adaptation takes the well-known composition into some uninhibited areas. Wilson reveals in the CD’s booklet, “I love to play free utilizing overtones and harmonics. In this sense, not only Trane but Pharoah Sanders was a big influence on me.” Wilson further clarifies, “though he’s great at honking and screaming, [Sanders is] also a very melodic and spiritual player. And I try to incorporate both aspects in this tune.” The quartet really stretches out on this reimagined rendition, and Wilson in particular unleashes an outpouring of magic on his tenor, covering the instrument’s tonal range. “Summertime” has also become an audience favorite. This and other live performances from There Was Never can be experienced on Wilson’s website.
The album’s other two covers are also superb. Wilson is an avowed Grateful Deadfan. On Spiral he translated the group’s “Friend of the Devil.” On this CD, Wilson dives deep into “Cassidy,” co-written by the Dead’s Bob Weir (it debuted up on a Weir solo LP before being added to the Dead’s live repertoire). Wilson switches to soprano sax, which brings a lighter but not necessarily an easy tone to the tune. Deadheads may not immediately recognize (or even enjoy) “Cassidy,” because Wilson re-arranges it, and also since the soloing and improvisations twist in and out from the melody and harmony. Wilson states he wanted to “create a collective/jam type of improvisation.” He admirably succeeds due to the involved interplay between the four players, which extends far past the Dead’s inspiration and into music which is Wilson’s own. Wilson also uses soprano sax on Brian Wilson’s lyrically thoughtful, “God Only Knows,” a memorable song from the Beach Boys’ 1966 masterpiece, Pet Sounds. Wilson and the group maintain the wonderful melodic theme, but integrate a solo section in the middle, plus slip in some delightful melodic changes. “God Only Knows” is the record’s most expressive and poignant statement. At the album’s conclusion, Wilson returns to soprano on the engaging and explorative “On the Prairie,” which combines plenty of extemporaneous inventiveness with a transcendent characteristic, and the quartet deftly moves from emotional qualities to nearly abstract ones. [Only MP3 versions at Amazon at this time.]
TrackList: The Time Has Come, Cassidy, God Only Knows, There Was Never, Smooth Sailing, Master Plan, Feeling Peaceful, Summertime, On the Prairie.
—Doug Simpson - Doug Simpson

"ONE NIGHT AT CHRIS’ (Dave Wilson Music, 2019)"

ONE NIGHT AT CHRIS’ (Dave Wilson Music, 2019)
Matt Silver for WRTI Jazz Radio in Philadelphia:
Jazz Album of the Week: It All Comes Together for The Dave Wilson Quartet One Night at Chris’s
August 26, 2019. …if the aim is to recreate a sophisticated evening of live jazz in the comfort of your own home, you really can’t beat One Night at Chris’s, the fifth recording from The Dave Wilson Quartet. Recorded before a live audience at Chris’s Jazz Café, Philadelphia’s longstanding jazz club par excellence, One Night at Chris’s accomplishes all you could want from a live recording: genre-bending covers and bold originals, a fusion of the straight ahead and the slightly more avant-garde, and easy chemistry between a great group of musicians, each of whom are playing at or near their best. - Matt Silver for WRTI Jazz Radio in Philadelphia:

"Stunning live saxophone jazz The Dave Wilson Quartet – ONE NIGHT AT CHRIS’:"

Dick Metcalf (AKA Rotcod Zzaj) /Contemporary Fusion Reviews
Stunning live saxophone jazz The Dave Wilson Quartet – ONE NIGHT AT CHRIS’: I first reviewed Dave’s stunning live saxophone jazz way back in issue # 106, where he got a “PICK” for “best jazz quartet”… his new album brings you even hipper jazz (if that’s possible)… Dave’s swingin’ original “Ocean Blues“, is the opener for the album, and the depth of his talent becomes totally clear… I’ve no doubt this tune will be getting MAJOR rotations on jazz stations ’round the globe (for years & years to come)!...this new release digs even deeper into the cool that Dave & his players make happen for you… and all the players are just “ON”… if I were on the panels voting for jazz winners, this tune would be nominated & WIN awards…I give Dave & his players a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) score of 4.99 for this great jazz release. - Dick Metcalf (AKA Rotcod Zzaj) /Contemporary Fusion Reviews

"“DAVE WILSON QUARTET/One Night at Chris’"

From CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher, Midwestrecord.com.
“DAVE WILSON QUARTET/One Night at Chris’: A protean sax man that can lead his crew through anything, he smokes on originals and covers that you wouldn’t think fit the format---but they do. Lively and crackling, they are turned on by the live Philly audience and make sure they heat up the night properly. Tasty stuff that makes you wish you were there.” - CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher, Midwestrecord.com.

"“"It was a good night""

Vittorio Lo Conte, www.musiczoom.it
“"It was a good night" and for this simple reason the recording of the concert has now been published on disc. Dave Wilson's quartet is in a state of grace, full of energy, a continuous flow of ideas from one piece to another. Dave Wilson's quartet is in a state of grace, full of energy, a continuous flow of ideas from one piece to another….The disc works to perfection showing how jazz, made by inspired musicians, can engulf material that comes from the world of pop and current rock without giving up the swing.” - Vittorio Lo Conte, www.musiczoom.it

"Dodie Miller-Gould, lemonwire.com:"

Dodie Miller-Gould, lemonwire.com:
"The Dave Wilson Quartet mixes things up on “One Night at Chris'” “…What is noteworthy is the choice of songs that The Dave Wilson Quartet have covered. All of the cover songs are unexpected. Each offers listeners a bit of insight into the style and perhaps the inspiration of the quartet members…The songs included on “One Night at Chris'” have been captured in one take – – no overdubs, no retakes. The result is a recording that crackles with liveliness and a verve that resonates with the traditions of jazz, even when the group is taking on songs that are from rock and pop traditions…. - "The Dave Wilson Quartet mixes things up on “One Night at Chris'”

"One Night At Chris'"

Joe Ross, Roots Music Report:
“Bands occasionally have a terrible night or encounter the dreaded “gig from hell.” On the other hand, well-rehearsed groups also have exceptional nights when everything clicks. The Dave Wilson Quartet experienced the latter when they played Chris’ Jazz Café in Philadelphia in March 2018…While the quartet really spotlights Dave Wilson’s sax, he and Kirk Reese (piano) trade lyrical improvised expressions, with colorful shading and distinctive twists, in this quartet’s very pleasant set of jazz. - Joe Ross, Roots Music Report:

"Jazz CD News/Reviews: The Audiophile Man"

DOUG MACDONALD, Jazz CD News/Reviews: The Audiophile Man:
“…Smooth but still crackling with energy, at ease but still ‘on’ the occasion, Wilson’s mob offers patterns of complexity that dance around the central themes. Playful too –…Clever stuff.” - DOUG MACDONALD

"Stretching Supreme"

“Wilson and his teammates are clearly invested in the enterprise, musically and emotionally… there is enticing jazz to be uncorked here and handsome solos.” - -All About Jazz by Jack Bowers

"Stretching Supreme"

“A sax bad boy that knows his stuff pays tribute to Coltrane and doing a fine job interpreting music that lives on 60 years later…Count on this journey through the past to hit all the right notes at every turn.” - -Chris Spector, Midwest Record,

"Stretching Supreme"

“An excellent CD, fully worthy of the one to whom most of the music is dedicated. Wilson was able to achieve Trane’s massive tone, and he really has managed to duplicate his rich, vibrato less sound on tenor, which is a miracle in itself.” - -The Art Music Lounge, by Lynn Rene Bayley

"Stretching Supreme"

“Dave Wilson’s post-bop flavored presentation showcases his love of John Coltrane’s influence and skills, but clearly spotlights Wilson’s own dexterity and style on woodwinds. You will enjoy his free form exploration of this music, especially on his singular, original composition… an innovative project that I enjoyed from start to finish.” - Musical Memoirs, by Dee Dee McNeil


From The Dave Wilson Quartet (Contemporary Jazz):

"Through The Time" Dreamscape Records, 2002
"My Time" Dreambox Media, 2006
"Spiral" Summit Records, 2010

From The Canal Street Hot 6 (Traditional Jazz/Dixie)
"Back In The Day" Independant, 2004
"Smokin At The Sound Works" (4 song EP) Independant, 2006



  (2015, 2016, 2019 Musikfest Performers) 

The Dave Wilson Quartet is a Contemporary Jazz group led by the noted Tenor/Soprano Saxophonist, Educator and composer to further and bring to fruition the music and vision of Dave Wilson, the artist. Defying categorization, the music is "what sounds good and can communicate with the audience on a deep level...it's jazz". Dave Wilson offers high caliber, compelling, contemporary Jazz music with top notch, nationally and internationally known personnel known for their exciting improvisations, creative individualistic compositions, and unique arrangements of standards. The Dave Wilson Quartet has now 6 great CDs out under their own name. The Third Spiral (released in 2010 on Summit Records), was recorded with All-Stars Phil Markowitz on Piano, Tony Marino on Bass, and Adam Nussbaum on Drums.  Spiral received air play nationwide (Chartbound-top 55 for six weeks in Jazz Weekly countdown, and garnered many positive reviews, (including 3 and ½ stars from Downbeat Magazine, as well as a favorably from Jazz Times). The new Dave Wilson Quartet released their fourth CD There Was Never (featuring Bobby Avey on Piano; Tony Marino on Bass; Alex Ritz on Drums-all members of the Dave Liebman Group), on ZOHO Music in 2016. It reached a high of#18 in the nation-wide Jazz Weekly Jazz Radio Countdown, had a great review in Downbeat Magazine and was placed in nomination for a Grammy in 2016. The fifth One Night at Chris’ was released in the summer of 2019, achieved “Chartbound” status (Top 50) on jazz radio, and garnered positive reviews.

Our 6th recording, released 1/7/2022, titled Stretching Supreme (Dave Wilson Music) is a tribute to John Coltrane. It reached a high of #31 in the Jazz Weekly Live Radio charts, and garnered some impressive reviews, among them:

“A sax bad boy that knows his stuff pays tribute to Coltrane and doing a fine job interpreting music that lives on 60 years later…Count on this journey through the past to hit all the right notes at every turn.”

-Chris Spector, Midwest Record, http://midwestrecord.com/MWR1841.html     


“Wilson and his teammates are clearly invested in the enterprise, musically and emotionally… there is enticing jazz to be uncorked here and handsome solos.”

-All About Jazz by Jack Bowers


Listen to each of Dave’s last 4 recordings at https://davewilsonmusic.bandcamp.com

Concert/Festival Performances

Bethlehem Musikfest, Bethlehem, PA

Berks Jazz Festival, Reading, PA

Artscape, Baltimore, MD

Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center Concert Series, Washington, DC

Manassas Wine & Jazz Festival, VA

Herndon Days, Herndon, VA

Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, State College, PA

People’s Choice Arts and Music Festival, State College, PA

Jazz in the Attic Concert Series, State Theater, State College, PA

Jazz Bridge Real Book Concert Series, Philadelphia, PA

Pittsburgh Cider & Mead Festival, Pittsburgh, PA

Scranton Jazz Festival, Scranton, PA

Media “Jazz By Night” Festival, Media, PA

Penns Woods Winery Wine and Jazz Festival/"Wine and Jazz Under the Stars", PA

Harrisburg Independance Day Festival, Harrisburg, PA

Harrisburg Jazz and Multicultural Music Festival, Harrisburg, PA

Harrisburg Arts Festival, Harrisburg, PA

Harrisburg Kipona Festival, Harrisburg, PA

"Jazz Under the Stars" at the Reading, PA Museum's Neag Planetarium.

Lebanon 8th Street Music Festival, Lebanon, PA

New Holland Summer Arts Festival, New Holland, PA

Long's Park Arts and Crafts Festival, Lancaster, PA
Lancaster Summer Arts Festival, Lancaster, PA

York Jazz Festival, York, PA

Olde York Street Fair, York, PA

Moondancer Winery Jazz Festival, Wrightsville, PA

First Night Lancaster, Lancaster, PA

First Night York, York, PA

Press Kit and Web Site: davewilsonmusic.org

 View Dave's YouTube Video Channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnw6zRruL8S2Q8UO6x9gDiA




Band Members