Milestones

Gerald Wilson Orchestra

A classic version of Wilson’s arrangement

Gerald Wilson was a major fixture in Southern California for seven decades, arranging for many top singers and instrumentalists, and leading a big band from 1960 until his death in 2014.

Originally a trumpeter, Wilson gave up the horn altogether in the mid-1960s to devote himself exclusively to arranging, composing and leading his orchestra.

One of Gerald Wilson’s most exciting charts was his version of Miles Davis’ “Milestones,” an arrangement that he kept in his book for 50 years.

On this definitive version from 1965, Wilson makes a rare appearance as a trumpeter soloing with his big band, preceding short solos by tenor-saxophonist Buddy Collette, trombonist Lou Blackburn, tenor-saxophonist Teddy Edwards and pianist Jack Wilson while drummer Mel Lewis drives the band.

-Scott Yanow