Billy Kilson

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William Earl "Billy" Kilson (* 2. August 1962 in Washington, DC ) is an American drummer of modern jazz .

Live and act

As a child, Kilsons used the pans and pots in the kitchen as drums (this is what his album Pots & Pans alludes to). His mother first let him take trumpet lessons. He later switched to the trombone, and when he was sixteen he got his first drum kit. Because that was quite late, he tried to practice "14 hours a day", in addition to school and other obligations. He oriented himself towards funk and R&B . His father had a large record collection, and Kilson tried to learn many different styles by himself.

At seventeen he attended Shenandoah Music Camp and heard Stanley Clarke recordings with Tony Williams . He continued to listen to Miles Davis records , which Williams also played on. “ I felt that he was one of the drummers who innovate. I was fascinated by his playing, "recalls Kilson." I was blown away by the sound and tried to learn his technique, but I realized I didn't have enough hands. “He learned that Williams' teacher was Alan Dawson , who taught at Berklee College of Music , where he was still giving private lessons. With the support of his mother, he studied at Berklee.

After his training at Dawson, the latter found him a job with Walter Davis Jr. for a European tour. Then Donald Byrd , Ahmad Jamal and Dianne Reeves Kilson hired for their tours; in the latter he played from 1989 for seven years and was at the Hollywood Bowl, Apollo Theater , the North Sea Jazz Festival and the Montreux Jazz Festival . Even George Duke , Najee, Greg Osby , Steps Ahead , Freddie Jackson, Michael Gibbs and Bob James took him to their projects.

Dave Holland invited him to play in his quintet and later in his big band. After that, Kilson was part of Chris Botti's band, which was the opening act on Sting's tour, and that provided an opportunity to perform in front of a different audience. It was here that Kilson introduced radio elements and the odd meters into the music of the ensembles he also played with Holland.

Since 1991 he has written an impressive discography in his capacity as a sideman. Several albums on which he played have been nominated for a Grammy , including with Dave Holland, Dianne Reeves, Botti, Taylor Eigsti , albums with Bob James and Kirk Whalum (Joined at the Hip 1997), Carla Cook , Tim Hagans (animation Imagination 1999) and Bob Belden (with Hagans / Belden Reanimation 2000).

Kilson began to write his own music and found the musicians Kenny Davis (bass), Mike Sim (saxophone) and George Colligan (keyboards) for his group BK Groove . With them he recorded his debut album as Leader While Ur Sleepin in 2001 . Her latest album, Pot's & Pans (2006) is a jazz and fun-oriented fusion project. In addition, Kilson still appears with Botti.

Brian Priestley named Kilson one of the most diverse drummers in a long time in the 2004 Rough Guide Jazz . He uses the drums like individual percussion instruments and not as a set of instruments, thereby developing polyrhythmic playing styles. Although he sometimes plays very loudly with the thick ends of the drumstick on recordings, he is very versatile and dynamically expressive. He sets very striking accents with the bass drum. He tries to complete a piece of music on a purely rhythmic basis, for example by selecting the cymbals to match the melody. Dave Holland says of him: “His groove is infallible and he always has a different rhythmic structure. He can enter into the musical conversation without crushing the band and he has a strong sense for the dynamics. ” In his powerful manner he is reminiscent of Art Blakey .

Dave Holland called Kilson the “groove master” in a 2009 interview , I think he's one of the great young drummers in the current scene.

Publications (selection)

  • Billy Kilson & BK Groove While Ur Sleepin ' , 2001
  • Billy Kilson & BK Groove Pots & Pans , 2006
  • Rhythm Dancer , 2011

As an accompanying musician

  • Dianne Reeves Quiet after the Storm , 1994 (Grammy nomination)
  • Dave Holland Quintet, Points of View , 1998 (Grammy nomination)
  • Dave Holland Quintet, Prime Directive , 2000, (Grammy nomination)
  • Dave Holland Quintet, Not for Nothin ' , 2001 (Grammy nomination)
  • Dave Holland Quintet, Extended Play: Live at Birdland , 2003 (Grammy nomination)
  • Dave Holland Big Band, What Goes Around , 2002, (2003 Grammy Winner )
  • Carla Cook, Simply Natural , with Kenny Davis
  • Josh Roseman : Treats for the Nightwalker , 2003
  • Dave Holland Big Band, Overtime , 2005
  • Onaje Allan Gumbs : Remember Their Innocence , 2005
  • Chris Botti in Boston , 2009 (Grammy nomination)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Own biography ( Memento from September 28, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  2. a b c bio- and discography (until 2014)
  3. ^ A b "... one of the most versatile drummers to appear in a long while", Rough Guide Jazz, 3rd edition 2004.
  4. a b Dave Holland . Retrieved December 30, 2009.