Phillip Wilson (drummer)

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Phillip Wilson
Birth name Phillip Sanford Wilson
Born (1941-09-08)September 8, 1941
Origin St. Louis, Missouri
Died 1992
Genres Jazz, Blues, Funk, R&B
Instruments drums

Phillip Wilson (1941–1992) was an American jazz percussionist, known as a founding member of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, and as a member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.


Wilson was born in St. Louis on September 8, 1941, and was a third generation musician. His grandfather, Ira Kimball, was a percussionist playing on the riverboats that traveled down the Mississippi to New Orleans. His recording debut was with Sam Lazar, noted for having one of the first interracial bands in the St. Louis area.[1] Moving to Chicago, he was a member of the AACM and performed with the Art Ensemble of Chicago.

He joined up with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band in 1967 at a time when the band membership changed greatly, including an added horn section. He recorded three albums with the group. Wilson's song Love March, co-written with Gene Dinwiddie, was performed at Woodstock and released in 1970 on the original live record album from the festival.

Wilson, along with Dinwiddie and fellow former Butterfield Band member Buzz Feiten, formed the jazz-rock band Full Moon in the early 70's. They recorded a self-titled album which is considered one of the finest early examples of Jazz Fusion. He was part of the loft jazz scene in 70’s New York, worked as a session musician for Stax Records in Memphis, jammed with Jimi Hendrix at the Cafe Au Go Go, recorded with The Last Poets, Olu Dara, David Murray, Anthony Braxton, and a host of other musicians. He worked extensively with Lester Bowie.[2] He was still actively pursuing his musical career when he was murdered on the Lower East Side of New York in 1992.


As leader[edit]

  • 1978: Fruits - Live at the Northsea-Festival in Den Haag, July 14, 1978, with Leo Smith and Johnny Dyani.
  • 1978: Duet (Improvising Artists, with Bowie)
  • 1978: Live at Moers Festival

As group member[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Lester Bowie

With Anthony Braxton

With Paul Butterfield

With Julius Hemphill

With Sam Lazar

With Roscoe Mitchell

With David Murray


  1. ^ City of Gabriels: the history of jazz in St. Louis, 1895-1973, Dennis Owsley
  2. ^ Allmusic

External links[edit]