Warren Wolf embodies jazz’s legacy and its renaissance
The Artistry of… Warren Wolf
Warren Wolf’s canvas is the horizon-free breadth of the multimedia jazz artist. His palette is weighty with the colours of a healthy variety of musical influences and studies and of the diversity of instruments he plays and understands.
Wolf is a native of Baltimore and studied at that historic city’s famed Peabody Institute. Early studies in music included the music of the three big Bs of classical music — Bach, Beethoven and Brahms — along with Vivaldi, Mozart and the 20th century work of Shostakovich. The Russian composer was known as a poly-stylist, an artist who weaves multiple styles into their work. This influence and diversity of form and style is evident in the tapestries of Wolf’s music.
In American popular music, he studied the work of Scott Joplin and the depth of the crucial songbook of the American greats like Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Louis Armstrong, Herbie Hancock and the magic of Weather Report, to name just some of so many. His work and collaborations include the engaging spectrum of jazz from those established in the middle of the current wave to those riding the edges — Anthony Wonsey, Cyrus Chestnut, Robert Glasper, Stefon Harris and Esperanza Spalding.
Some might call Wolf a renaissance jazz player, but truly he is the product of the legacy of the music’s roots and evolutions, with a palette weighty with the colours of his mediums.
The Artistry of… is a weekly series that reflects on the passion and essence of an artist. It airs Wednesday evenings on Dinner Jazz with John Devenish.