PIANIST • COMPOSER • ARTIST
Critically-acclaimed recording artist of piano-featured instrumentals, Jim Wilson returns with his 10th album “Remembrance: A Collection Of Cinematic Portraits". His most cinematic offering to date is being hailed as his career masterpiece.
About the new album, Jim reflected, "I’ve always been told that my music has a visual quality to it but I wanted to take it to a new level with this record, creating a collection of 'cinematic portraits’ that took the listener on an emotional journey.” The compositions all have movie-theme qualities to them: from the haunting “Shadow Falls” opener to the poignant closer, “Denouement”. Other exceptional standouts include “Remembrance”, the contemplative title cut; “Tangerine Moon”, the exotic ready-for-TV-theme composition; and the wistful, period-piece “The Girl From Eastland County”, which Jim dedicates “to my dear aunt BJ, who left us last year after a full life of 97 years. She was an amazing role model for what pure, unconditional love looks like and was a beacon of inspiration to all who knew her. I strive to be more like her in every aspect of my life.” About the evocative piece “Diogenes Lantern”, Jim said, “Diogenes was an ancient Greek philosopher best known for holding a lantern to the faces of the citizens of Athens claiming he was 'searching for an honest man’. The search for truth is more meaningful today than ever."
The album features superb contributions from Irish Flute-master, Eric Rigler (of Titanic Soundtrack fame, and more currently the Outlander series), and drumming legend, Charlie Morgan (drummer for Elton John for 14 years.) Brad Cole (Musical Director for Phil Collins) provided stellar arrangements for the record, as did Robbie Buchanan, Jon Gilutin, and Jonathan Merrill.
Jim penned all of the album’s compositions, except one: the big hit “Thank You For Being a Friend”. Describing the song, Jim said, "Andrew Gold was a dear friend and we used to make music together. He was a big supporter of my career over the years and I hope I’ve done him proud with my cover of his #1 hit, “Thank You For Being A Friend”. Besides the version that’s on my album, my dear buddy Chris Standring did a remix for the Smooth Jazz radio format. It’s a super fun 'crusin’ on a Sunday afternoon with the convertible top down "version!"
Jim Wilson’s music sometimes referred to as “melodic tone poems,” has been described as “a magical carpet ride of melodic beauty” by music legend Carole King and as making “a classy, artistic statement” by master tunesmith Burt Bacharach. Guest artists on Jim’s CDs have included David Sanborn, Stephen Bishop, J.D. Souther, Chris Botti and Dan Fogelberg. Three of Jim’s recordings have hit the Billboard Top-20 and he’s had two PBS specials, including “A Place In My Heart”, which was filmed before a sold-out audience of 1,300 fans at the GNC Performing Arts Center in Amarillo, TX. Although the public thinks of Jim Wilson as a rapidly emerging pianist and composer, the music industry knows he has even more talents.
Jim grew up in Texas, beginning his love affair with music at the age of 7. He picked up a guitar at the house of a family friend who gave the instrument to Jim on a whim. “From then on I had this incredible passion for music and learning to play it. Around nine or ten I started composing songs. About that time my charismatic cousin from California came to visit. He breezed into town with his long hair, guitar, songs and stories, and that really ignited the musical fire in my life. I couldn’t wait to be a musician. I started playing in professional bands when I was 14. I switched to playing the piano when I was 19.” Soon thereafter, Jim packed up all of his possessions in a van and headed to California to pursue his dreams of a career in the music business. “For many people California has represented the Promised Land, the Land of Dreams. I love the energy of the people and the encouragement of the arts.
Jim began his recording career in 1997 when his best friend died suddenly. “That was a life-changing event that made me realize that you never know when you’re going to be called, so you better be proud of what you’ve done and the legacy you’re leaving behind.” He helped develop a revolutionary MIDI-adaptor for the acoustic piano, which for the first time allows this age-old instrument to interact with computers and synthesizers. He developed a topflight reputation, teaching uses of MIDI-piano to the upper echelon of pop musicians such as Paul McCartney, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Jackson Browne, Burt Bacharach, Carole King and many, many more. Whenever Jim played his own music for them while sitting at their pianos, they encouraged him to pursue his own musical dreams.
Jim soon landed an official endorsement by Yamaha Pianos, with the company providing instruments for his performances across the country both as a solo artist and with his six-piece band (more than a thousand shows so far and counting). Wilson has composed music for the CBS-TV series “Frank’s Place” and CNN’s “Showbiz Today” television show devoted a segment to Jim’s music.
Jim is also keyboard player and Musical Director for legendary American singer-songwriter, Stephen Bishop. “Stephen is my closest friend of 20 years it’s a blast touring the world with him, performing these classic songs.”, says Jim.
Jim’s previous releases include his breathtakingly evocative "Beneath The Olympian Skies." and his Billboard bestseller, "A Place In My Heart." It placed in the top 5 for two months in a row on national airplay charts and was nominated by radio programmers around the world for Album of the Year and Best Instrumental Album — Piano in the 2005 NAR Music Awards. Wilson’s other albums include "Northern Seascape," "Cape Of Good Hope,", "My First Christmas With You "Leader Of The Band: A Musical Tribute To Dan Fogelberg," "Playing Favorites," "My Mother's Son," "Solo Piano Collection," and "Quiet Shadows."