Filed Under:

Matt Wilson: 'I Hear Melody In All Rhythm'

Play associated audio

By day, jazz drummer Matt Wilson teaches his craft at Sarah Lawrence College in New York. By night, he practices it with legends like Lee Konitz at storied venues like the Village Vanguard. His band Arts and Crafts, which features Terell Stafford (trumpet), Gary Versace (piano, organ and accordion) and Martin Wind (bass), has a new album called An Attitude for Gratitude.

Wilson says he discovered the drums in the first grade, while listening to records by old-school timekeepers like Buddy Rich and Max Roach.

"When I heard Max Roach — I'll never forget it — it was a summer day," Wilson tells NPR's Guy Raz. "I heard that kind of playing, the drums really singing, and that's when it started to really come together."

Wilson says he isn't exaggerating when he describes percussion as "singing."

"For me, I feel that the drums are a strong melodic instrument," he says. "I hear melody in all rhythm."

The element of the drum set that carries that melody, Wilson says, is the ride cymbal.

"It's really part of the sound," he says. "Like Terell Stafford, for example: He says all the music really comes from the ride cymbal. He's a trumpet player. He says everything really emerges from that sound."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit


'American Horror Story' Returns, With Twists, Thrills And A Chilling Lady Gaga

FX's American Horror Story returns for season five this week. TV critic David Bianculli says this season, which is set in a lavish old hotel, is "the most visually arresting and twisted one yet."

For Israeli-Born Chef, Hummus And 'Tehina' Are A Bridge To Home

Chef Michael Solomonov sees his mission as connecting people to the food of his homeland. "That, to me, is my life's work," he says. Solomonov's new cookbook is Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking.

After Air France Executives Mobbed By Employees, French Government Gets Involved

Executives were taking part in meetings about how the company would slash nearly 3,000 jobs when hundreds of workers stormed the Air France offices Monday.
WAMU 88.5

Computer Guys And Gal: Taking Selfies To New Heights And More

Mobile ad blocking comes to iPhones, updated Android comes to new Nexus phones, and "dronies" -- video selfies shot by a GoPro on a drone -- come to Instagram. The Computer Guys and Gal explain.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.