No less a jazz organ authority than the legendary Dr. Lonnie Smith has called Wil Blades “the future,” anointing him the heir apparent to “carry on the legend [and] the legacy of the organ, of the B-3.”
Blades shoulders that responsibility with nonchalant virtuosity and infectious groove on his second recording, Field Notes. The album’s nine songs report back from the rich incubator that is the road, with pieces written from snippets recorded at soundchecks, gigs and jam sessions—field recordings of the jazz trio in its natural habitat.
Over the past fifteen years, Blades has grown to be one of the most in-demand organ players on the Bay Area scene. In addition to leading his own trio with guitarist Jeff Parker (Tortoise, Joey DeFrancesco, Joshua Redman) and drummer Simon Lott (Charlie Hunter, Will Bernard) - both musicians who share Blades’ grounding in tradition and urge to push it forward - he works regularly in duo situations with drummers Billy Martin (Medeski Martin and Wood) and Scott Amendola (Nels Cline Singers); and in trios led by guitarist Will Bernard and drummer Stanton Moore. He’s performed and recorded with a host of jazz and blues greats including Melvin Sparks, Idris Muhammad, Joe Louis Walker, Don Braden, Donald Harrison, Nicholas Payton, Karl Denson, Charlie Hunter, Jason Marsalis, Herlin Riley, and many others.