Thursday, September 16, 2010

Phil Wilson and Makoto Ozone Live at Berklee, 1982

When I was at Berklee College of Music, back in the Paleolithic Era, Phil Wilson was in charge of the "dues band," the first-tier student big band that periodically Buddy Rich, Woody Herman, and a few others would raid to fill the ranks of their organizations. That Wilson also was an interesting trombonist was not at the forefront of student consciousness back then. But it was true.

In 1982 Phil and Japanese piano phenom Makoto Ozone did a set of duos in concert at the Berklee Performance Center. The results are now on CD (Capri 71004-2).

It's one of those teacher-proudly-shows-off his-prize-student sorts of things. Ozone was (and presumably still is) a pianist that wears his technique on his sleeve in an updating of the Art Tatum-Oscar Peterson school of having at it. By 1982, he was really rather good at it.

The duets show Phil slightly restrained, Makoto wildly exuberant. The chemistry was there, but it really served as a showcase for Ozone. That said, it has plenty of interesting moments, some of the best when Ozone alludes to stride roots.

It's a very decent set and a testament to the rapidly developing talents of Mr. Ozone.

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