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Dan Wilson

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On his fourth album as a leader, Things Eternal, Wilson takes stock of the lessons learned from each of those rich sources, ensuring that their legacy lives on through him even as some of them pass on.

In recent years the guitarist has lost both of his grandparents along with one of his key mentors, the legendary organist Joey DeFrancesco, whose sudden death in 2022 was mourned throughout the jazz world. Then his father suffered a massive stroke just three days before the birth of the guitarist’s second child; he’s on the mend, but it’s been an arduous path. All this, of course, in the midst of a global pandemic.

His wide-ranging tastes are reflected on the artfully curated repertoire for Things Eternal, which includes songs by The Beatles, Stevie Wonder and Sting alongside jazz classics by the likes of McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard, Michael Brecker and Herbie Hancock, as well as a song by hometown favorite Phillip K. Jones II.

The album’s two Wilson originals both reflect on its central theme in unique ways. “Since a Hatchet Was a Hammer” was a phrase he heard from his then 97-year-old Aunt Mary, who he says was “outspoken for nearly a century.” Her undimmed spirit and keen insight are both reflected in the guitarist’s determined tribute.

The title track was inspired by a vivid fever dream that Wilson had shortly after losing his grandmother and features wistful lyrics sung by Jessica Yafanaro over Glenn Zaleski’s dreamlike Fender Rhodes.

The title of Things Eternal is extracted from the hymn “Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand,” in which Wilson found solace during these trying times.

The first song, "Sticology," on guitarist/composer Dan Wilson’s Things Eternal opens with a recorded voicemail from the late organist, personal mentor and dear friend Joey DeFrancesco, serving as a tribute, guiding light and mission statement.

Throughout this curated selection of 12 songs, Wilson gathers hope and inspiration from ancestral wisdom, dedicated to the enduring quality of the human spirit. 

Things Eternal