|Birth name||Phillip Sanford Wilson|
September 8, 1941|
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
March 25, 1992|
New York City
|Genres||Jazz, free jazz, blues, funk, R&B|
|Associated acts||Art Ensemble of Chicago, Paul Butterfield Blues Band|
Born in St. Louis, Phillip Wilson 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. 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-1970s. 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 1970s New York, worked as a session musician for Stax Records in Memphis, jammed with Jimi Hendrix at the Cafe Au Go Go and Generation Club in 1968, recorded with The Last Poets, Fontella Bass, Olu Dara, David Murray, Anthony Braxton, Carla Bley, and a host of other musicians. He worked extensively with Lester Bowie. In 1985, he and Bill Laswell coproduced the album Down by Law under the group name Deadline.
Wilson was still actively pursuing his musical career when he was murdered at 440 East 9th Street in New York City on March 25, 1992. As an outcome of the America's Most Wanted television program, Marvin Slater was convicted for premeditated murder in 1997, and sentenced to 33 1/3 years in State prison.
- 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
- 1979: Esoteric (Hat Hut)
As group member
- 1972: 'Full Moon' (album & group name), with Buzz Feiten (guitar), Neil Larsen (keyboards), Freddie Beckmeier (bass), and Gene Dinwiddie (tenor saxophone). Sidemen contributing to Full Moon included Randy Brecker, Airto Moreira, Ray Barretto, Dave Holland, and vocalists Robin Clark and Tasha Thomas.
- 1985: Down by Law by Deadline (Celluloid)
With Hamiet Bluiett
- Endangered Species (India Navigation, 1976)
With Lester Bowie
- African Children (Horo, 1978)
- I Only Have Eyes for You (ECM, 1985)
- Avant Pop (ECM, 1986)
- Twilight Dreams (Venture, 1987)
- The Organizer (DIW, 1991)
- Funky T. Cool T. (DIW, 1991)
With Anthony Braxton
With Paul Butterfield
- The Resurrection of Pigboy Crabshaw (1967)
- In My Own Dream (1968)
- Keep on Moving (1969)
- Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More (1970)
With Julius Hemphill
With Sam Lazar
- Playback (Argo, 1962)
With Frank Lowe
- Out of Nowhere (Ecstatic Peace, 1993)
With Roscoe Mitchell
- Old/Quartet (Nessa, 1967)
With David Murray
- Low Class Conspiracy (Adelphi, 1976)
- Flowers for Albert: The Complete Concert (India Navigation, 1975)
- Live at the Lower Manhattan Ocean Club (India Navigation, 1977)
- City of Gabriels: the history of jazz in St. Louis, 1895-1973, Dennis Owsley
- "Phillip Wilson Remembered" (St. Louis Jazz Notes, November 10, 2008)