Matt Wilson doesn't just play along to the beat. The accomplished jazz drummer and bandleader works the drums like a lead instrument, right up there with that crazy saxophone. Whether it's a Thelonious Monk tune or an original composition, there's no strict spang-a-lang here; Wilson's sticks fly with their own volition onto whatever sound they desire.
Wilson's quartet Arts & Crafts play the sonically gorgeous main hall at the Green Music Center this week, following a free improv workshop open to the public at 3pm the same day.
As is the case with all masters of their instrument, Wilson makes his insanely complicated playing look and sound easy. During solos, he appears to be able to continue for days without running out of things to play. While his band mates jam on a melody or solo, he plays in sync, strengthening their voices without being overbearing. That's not easy, nor common, for a drummer to accomplish.
Matt Wilson and Arts & Crafts play Thursday, Feb. 21, at Sonoma State's Green Music Center. The SSU Jazz Orchestra and SSU Latin Band open.1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. 7:30pm; free workshop at 3pm. Concert, $10–$15. 707.664.2324