picture of Jack Wilson
Jack Wilson
Jack (* 1936 in Chicago, IL) studied, from 1949 to 1954, piano with Carl Atkinson at the Fort Wayne College of Music. It was during this time that he was introduced to the music of George Shearing. Later picking up tenor saxophone, Jack played in the Central High School band and began performing locally as a leader of small combos. By his fifteenth birthday, he had become the youngest member ever to join the Fort Wayne Musicians Union (Local 58). At the age of 17 he played a two-week stint as a substitute pianist in James Moody's band.
 
After graduating from Central High, Jack spent a year and a half at Indiana University, encountering Freddie Hubbard and Slide Hampton. Touring with a rock 'n' roll band, he wound up in Columbus, OH, connecting with the then unknown Nancy Wilson and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. After a year in Columbus, Wilson moved to Atlantic City, leading the house band at the Cotton Club, now adding organ to his musical arsenal. At the Club he encountered Dinah Washington, with whom he worked from 1957 to 1958.
 
Returning to Chicago, Jack played with Gene Ammons, Sonny Stitt, Eddie Harris and Al Hibbler. His longest gig there was at the Persian Lounge with bassist Richard Evans, with whom Jack made his recording debut as a sideman on Richard's Almanac (1959). Drafted into the Army, he went to Fort Stewart, Georgia, and became the first Black music director for the Third Army Area, playing tenor saxophone in the army band.
 
In 1961, Jack received an honorable medical discharge. He returned to Dinah Washington's band from 1961 to 1962. Encouraged by Buddy Collette, he moved to Los Angeles. In Los Angeles, Wilson worked for Gerald Wilson, Lou Donaldson, Herbie Mann, Jackie McLean and Johnny Griffin. Frequently in and out of the studio for recording, film and television work, he did stints with Sammy Davis jr, Sarah Vaughan, Lou Rawls, Eartha Kitt, Julie London, as well as Sonny & Cher.
 
In 1963 Jack recorded his first album as a leader, The Jack Wilson Quartet Featuring Roy Ayers. After his final Blue Note session in 1968, Wilson focused on work with vocalist Esther Phillips until 1977, when he recorded Innovations, the first of three record dates for the Los Angeles-based Discovery label. This also brought about a return to sideman work with Lorez Alexandria, Tutti Camarata and Eddie Harris well into the 1980s.
 
In 1985, Jack relocated to New York City with the help of jazz pianist Barry Harris and appeared in duo performance with Harris at the Jazz Cultural Theater on 01 February 1985. Jack continued to work for several years in New York City. Wilson's final recording session, simply titled In New York, took place on 04 June 1993 and featured legendary drummer Jimmy Cobb. Jack died in 2007.
 
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Discography
Tutti's Trombones
Coliseum DS 51000
released 1966
recorded in Hollywood, CA/USA
Tutti Camarata, conductor
Dick Nash, trombone
Frank Rosolino, trombone
Gil Falco, trombone
Herbie Harper, trombone
Hoyt Bohannon, trombone
Joe Howard, trombone
Lloyd Ulyate, trombone
Tommy Pederson, trombone
Ernie Tack, bass trombone
Kenny Shroyer, bass trombone
Allan Reuss, guitar
Ray Crawford, guitar
Tommy Tedesco, guitar
Bobby Hammack, piano, organ
Jackie Wilson, piano, organ
Cliff Hils, bass
Red Mitchell, bass
Bill Pitman, bass
Hal Blaine, drums
Irv Cottler, drums
Everywhere
World Pacific Jazz ST-10132
released 1968
recorded December 1967 and January 1968
Gerald Wilson, conductor
Ramon Bojorquez, alto sax
Henry DeVega, alto sax
Anthony Ortega, alto sax, flute, alto flute
Hadley Caliman, tenor sax
Harold Land, tenor saxophone
Richard Aplanalp, baritone saxophone
Gary Barone, trumpet
Bobby Bryant, trumpet
Dick Forrest, trumpet
Steve Huffsteter, trumpet
Bill Mattison, trumpet
Alex Rodriguez, trumpet
Thurman Green, trombone
Lester Robertson, trombone
Frank Strong, trombone
Mike Wimberly, bass trombone
William Green, flute, piccolo flute
Joe Pass, guitar
Bobby Hutcherson, vibes
Jack Wilson, piano, organ
Stanley Gilbert, bass
Buddy Woodson, bass
Frank Butler, drums
Carl Lott, drums
Moises Obligacion, congas
Hugh Anderson, percussion
The Best Of Gerald Wilson
World Pacific Jazz ST-20174
compilation
released 1970
Gerald Wilson Orchestra
Teddy Edwards, tenor sax
Carmen Jones, trumpet
Bud Shank, alto sax
Joe Pass, guitar
Jack Wilson, organ

 
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