Before Motown

Gerald Wilson Orchestra

The Wilson big band in the studio in 2009

Arranger Gerald Wilson, an alumnus of the 1939-42 Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra, led his own big band from 1960 until his death in 2014.

This very interesting film clip features Wilson in the studio with his orchestra, recording “Before Motown” for his Detroit CD in 2009.

The camerawork, which shifts between color and black and white, holds one’s interest throughout.

The soloists on the dramatic work include trumpeter Bobby Rodriguez, tenors Louis Van Taylor and Kamasi Washington (a few years before he became famous), trombonist Les Benedict, and pianist Brian O’Rourke.

-Scott Yanow