Phillip Wilson

For similarly-named individuals, see Phil Wilson (disambiguation)
Phillip Wilson
Birth name Phillip Sanford Wilson
Born (1941-09-08)September 8, 1941
Origin St. Louis, Missouri
Died March 25, 1992
Genres Jazz, Blues, Funk, R&B
Instruments drums
Notable instruments
Drums, percussion

Phillip Wilson (September 8, 1941 — March 25, 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.


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.[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-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, Olu Dara, David Murray, Anthony Braxton, and a host of other musicians. He worked extensively with Lester Bowie.[2]

Wilson was still actively pursuing his musical career when he was murdered in New York City on March 25, 1992 by Marvin Slater. Slater was convicted in 1997 and sentenced to 33 1/3 years.[3]


As leader

As group member

Also Plays

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
  3. "Phillip Wilson Remembered" (St. Louis Jazz Notes, November 10, 2008)

External links

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