Spike Wilner Trio’s new, nine-track album, Aliens & Wizards, is the first release in a collaboration between SmallsLIVE & Cellar Music led by New York jazz impresario and pianist Wilner.
Recorded at the height of the pandemic, Aliens & Wizards features newly composed music by the jazz veteran, with the addition of several thoughtful renditions of jazz standards.
This spirited release is the follow-up to the trio’s 2017 Cellar Music Group recording Odalisque.
Steadfast pianist, bandleader and club manager Wilner has enjoyed a long tenure on the New York City and global jazz scenes, performing with the likes of The Artie Shaw Big Band, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Maynard Furgeson and Lennie Cuje, while remaining highly active as a bandleader all while managing iconic NYC Jazz shrines Smalls and Mezzrow.
Wilner is joined here by two long-time collaborators, bassist Tyler Mitchell (Art Taylor, Jackie McLean, Barry Harris) and drummer Anthony Pinciotti (James Moody, Dr. Lonnie Smith, John Abercrombie).
This electrifying release marks the beginning of a fruitful collaboration between Cellar Music Group and The SmallsLIVE Foundation.
During lockdown Wilner, like many musicians, focused on practicing and composition. Informed by great change and isolation, Aliens & Wizards was born.
Label founder, Cory Weeds, said: “2020 has been a year to forget, yet in the most difficult of times, Spike continues to inspire with his unwavering dedication to the presentation of this music through his clubs, Smalls Jazz Club and Mezzrow, and through recordings, streaming and other important initiatives that serve this music. It’s fitting that the first release – in what we hope will be one of many – is a date led by Spike himself.”
Chris Spector, writing for Midwest Record, said: “This is a smoking trio of jazzbos that’s here to play, not play around. It’s all right in the classic piano trio pocket throughout.”