One of the first pieces I wrote for LondonJazz was a preview of the gig on Saturday night at Pinner Parish Church: here.
Stuart Nattrass and Peter Vacher organize the gig well, and there was a virtually full house. Wilber , looking good for nearly 81, was with regular top-notch British colleagues Richard Busakiewicz on piano, Dave Green on bass, and Bobby Worth on drums
Wilber tells fascinating anecdotes in between numbers, in which both his musical antecedents and his own distinguished, unique roles in jazz history come alive: as a pupil of Bechet, as a member of the Benny Goodman band, as keeper of the Ellington flame, and -this coming May - as music director at the Lincoln Center in New York in the centenary tributes to Benny Goodman with Wynton Marsalis gladly demoting himself to sideman.
He also spoke with real fondness for English churches, and with touching affection for the many British jazz musician colleagues who had come to Pinner to see and hear him play in the church.