Over recent years, saxophonist Julien Wilson has most often led his trio with Stephen Magnusson and Steve Grant (new album out now), and bands including Cools Cool that have focussed on standard compositions. His only regular outlet for his original compositions in a quartet format has been in Sydney with The Coathangers (Undy/Dewhurst/Barker).
B for Chicken (featuring guitarist Craig Fermanis, bass guitarist Chris Hale and drummer Hugh Harvey) brings home the bacon, smoked so lovingly in Sydney. The band focusses almost exclusively on Wilson’s originals, including songs from his out-of-print debut CD, While You Were Sleeping and a swag of new material. While the lyrical inclinations so evident in his long-running trio with Magnusson & Grant are still present, ‘the Chicken’ also gives Julien an outlet for the more assertive, high-octane side of his musical personality.
Julien says, “The inspiration for a return to the quartet format comes from the flexibility, drive and meaty tastiness of Hugh’s astoundingly musical drumming, while Craig’s blues-drenched, rock-singed, take-no-prisoners guitar work feels like a natural fit for me. We’ve been playing together since we were teenagers. Add to this the virtuosic beauty and creativity of Chris’ 6 string electric bass playing, and we have a relatively new band that sounds like we have been together for years.”
“You play like you’re from the jungle” – George Russell
“a direct lineage of influence runs from the late Merv Acheson to the explosive Mark Simmonds and on to Julien Wilson. Central to that lineage is a concept of how the horn should sound: massive, sprawling, wearing its heart on its sleeve, and gripping the listener from the first note. Wilson produced a sound that was haunting and burly – a rare combination that ensured the simplest melody was arresting.” – ‘Sydney Morning Herald’
“I can hear influences as diverse as Archie Shepp, Jan Garbarek, Ben Webster, Gato Barbieri, Dave Liebman… But particularly, of Mark Simmonds, who is one of the heroes of jazz saxophone in this country” – Dale Barlow