Monday 22 October 2012

Jason Wilson - Resident of the Home for the Criminally Underappreciated.

Every major city has its huge musical talents that seem to be criminally under-appreciated, and in Toronto, that status most assuredly applies to Jason Wilson.

Jason Wilson's music is, surprisingl
y for a white guy of European descent, firmly rooted in Jamaican Reggae, thanks to his having grown up in the Jamaican community in Toronto.  But he imbues his reggae core with jazz, folk, rock, blues, and various other genres that seem to blend seamlessly in.  I first encountered Jason Wilson playing in an open-air set at the Mont-Tremblant resort, in front of a casual audience of perhaps a hundred or two.  "Anybody out there love Reggae?!" he shouted to kick off his set.  You could have heard a pin drop.  But once the band started playing, nobody left, and the whole set was greeted with real enthusiasm.  I've paid three figures for tickets to hear lesser musicians.  Jason is a live performer par excellence, with a strong, well-toned, and confident voice. His band plays with the tightness that only comes from years and years of determined work together.

I bought a couple of his CDs at the concert, and when I got them home I was surprised - not to mention pleased - to find that he is as accomplished in the studio as he is on the stage.  My personal favorite is a double CD called "The Peacemaker's Chauffeur".  It is a great place for the curious listener to start.  The recording is of a quality that most major label artists fail to reach (for which there is, of course, absolutely no excuse).

Please give Jason Wilson a listen.  A fantastic songwriter, fronting a first-rate band, and a real, real treat for the uninitiated!