It’s hard to believe, but veteran drummer Matt Wilson has never played Manhattan’s Village Vanguard as a leader. That’ll change on September 4, when Wilson and his Arts & Crafts band—trumpeter Terell Stafford, keyboardist Gary Versace and bassist Martin Wood—begin a six-night run at the vaunted jazz club. The band has been touring this year in support of their fine new album An Attitude for Gratitude (Palmetto).
“The first time I went to the Vanguard was in 1984, when I was 19,” Wilson recalls. “I saw Elvin Jones, two nights in a row. It was my first night ever in New York City. My friend and I drove from Boston, and he dropped me off right in front of the club. The Vanguard was the first ground I walked in New York City. I think Elvin shook everyone’s hand in the room. It’s pretty astonishing to think about all the great music that’s gone on in there.”