At age 19, Wilder joined his first touring big band, Les Hite's band. Wilder was one of the first thousand African Americans to serve in the Marines during World War II. He worked first in Special Weapons and eventually became Assistant Bandmaster at the headquarters' band. Following the war during the 1940's and early 1950's, he played in the orchestras of Jimmie Lunceford, Herbie Fields, Sam Donahue, Lucky Millinder, Noble Sissle, Dizzy Gillespie, and finally with the Count Basie Orchestra. From 1957 to 1974, Wilder did studio work for ABC-TV, New York, and in the pit orchestras for Broadway musicals, while building his reputation as a soloist with his albums for Savoy (1956) and Columbia (1959).
His Jazz from Peter Gunn (1959), features ten songs from Henry Mancini ("Peter Gunn") television score in melodic and swinging fashion with a quartet. He was also a regular sideman with such musicians as NEA Jazz Masters Hank Jones, Gil Evans, and Benny Goodman. He became a favorite with vocalists and played for Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Johnny Mathis, Harry Belafonte, Eileen Farrell, Tony Bennett, and many others. Wilder earned a bachelor of music degree in 1953, studying classical trumpet at the Manhattan School of Music with Joseph Alessi, where he was also principal trumpet with the school's symphony orchestra under conductor Jonel Perlea.
In the 1960s, he performed on several occasions with the New York Philharmonic under Andre Kostelanetz and Pierre Boulez and played lead for the Symphony Of The New World from 1965 to 1971. He appeared on The Cosby Show episode "Play It Again, Russell" (1986), and played the trumpet in the Malcolm X Orchestra in Spike Lee's "Malcolm X" (1992). Since 1991 he returned as a leader and recorded three albums for Evening Star. He died on May 9, 2014 in New York City, of congestive heart failure. Discography As leader 1956 Wilder N' WilderJazzSavoy 1956 Softly With FeelingJazzSavoy 1959 The Pretty Sound of Joe WilderJazzColumbia 1959 Jazz from "Peter Gunn"JazzColumbia 1991 Alone With Just My DreamsJazzEvening Star 1993 No Greater LoveJazzEvening Star 2003 Among FriendsJazzEvening Star As sideman With Trigger Alpert Trigger Happy! (Riverside, 1956) With Gil Evans Into the Hot (Impulse!, 1961) With Dizzy Gillespie Gillespiana (Verve, 1960) With Tadd Dameron The Magic Touch (1962) With Etta Jones From the Heart (Prestige, 1962) With Yusef Lateef 10 Years Hence (Atlantic, 1974) The Doctor is In... and Out (Atlantic, 1976) With Mundell Lowe New Music of Alec Wilder (Riverside, 1956) With Oliver Nelson The Spirit of '67 with Pee Wee Russell (Impulse!, 1967) With Houston Person Broken Windows, Empty Hallways (Prestige, 1972) With Shirley Scott Great Scott!! (Impulse!, 1964) With Sonny Stitt What's New!!! (Roulette, 1966) With others Joe Newman: Hangin´ Out (Concord, 1984) Benny Carter: A Gentleman and His Music (Concord, 1985) Ruby Braff: Being With You (Arbirs, 1996) Charlie Byrd: For Louis' (Concord, 1996) Jay Jay Johnson: The Brass Orchestra (Verve, 1996) The Heath Brothers: Jazz Family (Concord, 1998) Read more on Last.fm.
User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
show me more