Main content

New Affiliate Artist in Jazz Finds Music in Sandburg’s Poetry

Our newest jazz affiliate artist, Matt Wilson, has released an album featuring the poetry of Carl Sandburg.

Jazz drummer/composer Matt Wilson’s newest album, Honey and Salt: Music Inspired by the Poetry of Carl Sandburg,  explores the oft-forgotten poetry of Sandburg.

Wilson and Sandburg, “both hail from the Prairie Lands of Knox County, Illinois and like many of that region we are both of Swedish descent.” And, in his family, much cherished was the Life Magazine that photographed Sandburg’s visit to Wilson’s relatives on their farm. His mother afterward might well have told people she just met that “we may have eaten off the same plates and sat in the same chairs as Carl Sandburg.”

Huffington Post raves, “With Honey and Salt he has created a masterful suite of music that both honors the verity within the poetry of Sandburg and at the same time enriches the experience of hearing the verse by pairing it with his wonderfully complimentary music…As usual, Wilson’s energetic playing is the driving force behind the whole album. The man always exudes a sense of vibrancy and joy in every beat of his drum and every splash of his cymbal. He brings a range of emotions to all eighteen of the poems, each made musical here.”

Downbeat Magazine gives the album a rare 5/5 stars and states, “You knew Matt Wilson was headed somewhere when his first album dropped…The bandleader has inventive ideas about the way the arts can intermingle. Spoken word and song have flecked his largely instrumental work ever since, and he’s actively harked back to his Midwestern roots.”

The Buffalo News’ review gives the album 3.5/4 stars and states, “Wilson, it seems, seldom, if ever, knows how to be uncreative. Guest stars here include Jack Black, Bill Frisell, Joe Lovano, Rufus Reid, Carla Bley, Christian McBride and John Scofield – all as readers. That will tell you something.”