Although thoroughly grounded in the bop mainstream, Anthony Wilson — whose latest album is “Power Of Nine” (Groove Note) — continues to give vent to his unpredictable tastes. That was demonstrated in the second number of the duo’s first set, a stream-of-consciousness ramble in a folk-like vein, emerging via a tiny glockenspiel perched upon Larry Goldings’ piano, and reaching an ecstatic, uplifting peak at its climax.
This piece was surrounded by a pair of Cole Porter standards — a more-or-less straight-ahead “You’re The Top” with acoustic/electric guitar and piano, and a bossa-nova-like treatment of “Love For Sale” where Goldings mounted the Hammond B3 for the only time in the first set, pumping out the bass and paraphrasing the tune. It would have been great to have heard more of Goldings’ B3 work, as he is one of our best exponents of the soul/jazz organ revival.
The pair — Wilson’s full-time job is in Diana Krall’s band, Goldings plays with James Taylor — continued their explorations of Brazil with a tune by Chico Buarque that developed into a mournful encounter of almost stark tragedy, launched by Goldings’ intro on accordion and punctuated by comments on a small tinkling celeste. Joao Donato’s “Cafe Com Pao” found Wilson gently displaying his prowess while Goldings created striking colors by doubling a unison line on piano and celeste.
Finally, it was back to the standards, a chonking, swinging, yet enigmatic take on “Straight, No Chaser” where the tune didn’t emerge full-blown until the close.
Wilson closes the run alone on Saturday night.