Gerald Wilson, noted jazz orchestrator dies at 96.

Gerald wilson early in his career then






Gerald Wilson now


Gerald Wilson has been around forever. He is a link back to the big bands of the 30’s and 40’s. He worked as an orchestrator for some of the great jazz names including Jimmie Lunceford, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Stan Kenton, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and many others. Outside of the jazz realm he arranged charts for Ray Charles, Bobby Darin and B.B. King. He worked prolifically in the 50’s and 60’s composing for film and TV. Along the way he defied the trends of small group jazz and rock and roll. He wrote a symphony and many extended pieces including “State Street Suite” for the 1994 Chicago Jazz Festival; “Theme for Monterey” composed for the 40th anniversary of the Monterey Jazz Festival; “Yes, Chicago is….” for the 2008 Chicago Jazz Festival and in 2009 he wrote “Detroit Suite” for the 30th anniversary of the Detroit International Jazz Festival. He has recorded prolifically with his last CD Legacy released in 2011. He was, at that time in his mid nineties. Like most really creative jazz artists he “bopped ‘til he dropped”. Some of his best work is captured in the MOSAIC 5 CD boxed set The Complete Pacific Jazz Recordings of Gerald Wilson and His Orchestra (1961-1969)

And a concert clip


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