Click to listen to Dan’s interview on WGLT (FEBRUARY, 2015)
Featured in the May/June 2011 issue of SAXOPHONE JOURNAL.
BACK IN THE MIX (2012):
". . . bold tones and a swaggering intensity . . . Wilensky and Johnson make formidable frontline partners."
— Bill Milkowski
Jazz Times (May, 2012)
" . . . a pleasure to hear . . . innovative and excellent."
— Ric Bang
Jazz Scan (May, 2012)
"Four top jazz players and a great discovery."
— Jürg Sommer
Der Sonntag (February, 2012)
"Wilensky and his crew will thrill you from start to finish with an ear opening date that will leave you begging for more."
— Chris Spector
Midwest Record (February, 2012)
"Viewed on its own merits, Back In The Mix is a strong album from a true original but, in a broader sense, it proves to be the final piece of the aural triptych that marks the triumphant return of Dan Wilensky."
— Dan Bilawsky
All About Jazz (January, 2012)
GROUP THERAPY (2011):
"From the quirky, laidback blues “Reckless Tongue” to the alluring, Spanish-flavored “Exotikiss” and the edgy rubato number “Certain Nights,” fueled by Phelps’ audacious, distortion-laced guitar lines, they cover a lot of musical ground while exhibiting uncanny group empathy."
— Bill Milkowski
Jazz Times (October, 2011)
. . . a mature, generous music, that manages to sound both spontaneous and slightly lived-in, Wilensky's welcoming, burnished tone a tethered center throughout the madcap romp of his compositions. That is a veteran's feat.
— All About Jazz (May, 2011)
Nothing short of brilliant.
— Amazon.com (May, 2011)
IF YOU ONLY KNEW (2010):
Were we to consider If You Only Knew academically, it would be a master class on composition, interpretation, performance, practice and repertoire selection . . .brevity, professionalism, structural musical competency, simplicity, humility and grace . . .The title piece is a ballad of careful beauty that comes to a simmer and beyond . . .
— All About Jazz (March, 2011)
. . . Wilensky's individuality can be heard with his first notes. His sound is bright, crisp, and completely relaxed in all registers. His lines are direct, to the point, and completely his own; he just does not sound like anyone else.
— Saxophone Journal (March, 2011)
This straight-ahead recording has the charm of four friends getting together in the afternoon, on a day off, to play some music that challenges the mind yet focuses on feel, whether the style is ballads, up-tempo numbers or mid-tempo charmers. Together, they create a recording that delights and impresses, but not by shoving their abilities down your throat. Instead, they take their time to lay out lines with thought and care . . . There is an easy rapport between these musicians best demonstrated in a wonderfully shifting and lilting of backbeat heavy accents on the title piece. Slowing building the tune's intensity, Neumann is incredibly tasteful and insistently prodding at the same time as he pushes the tune to a great climatic height. Wilensky's ending solo is full of the fire you can see made him so admired and sought after as a rock musician . . . If you enjoy thoughtful, at times introspective playing by those who have already earned their stripes and have no need to show off, then you'll be totally captivated by this recording.
— Jazzreview.com (January, 2011)
Tenor saxophonist Dan Wilensky has put together a nice collection of original tunes on If You Only Knew. Joined by Bob Himmelberger on piano, Dean Johnson on bass and Scott Neumann on drums, Wilensky shows a flair for melodic songwriting and a robust tenor sax sound. To open the disc, he opted to use one of the two non-original selections on the album, "Tea for Two," taken at a leisurely pace that increases in intensity, and features a nice solo from Johnson. Among his other tunes, the funky "Saxafras" and the hard boppish "Lucky 13" particularly caught my ear. Special mention should be made of Himmelberger's lovely piano work on Wilensky's contemplative reading of Horace Silver's "Peace." To quote the title of the closing track, "All in All" this is an album that kept me engaged from start to finish.
— Jersey Jazz (November, 2010)
For me, a sax player has to have a singing tone and Dan's sound is beautiful on these tracks. This is not about how many notes can he can play in a second, it's about a mature musician telling his story. And it's a story that has variety, complexity, fun, funk, blues and more . . .
— CDBaby (December, 2010)
There really isn't a single page that doesn't have words of gold on it.
— Tom Erdmann
Saxophone Journal (2011)
Dan Wilensky's Musician! is the must-read book for those who play a musical instrument or wish that they could.
— Jersey Shore Style (2010)
. . .Dan Wilensky is a Renaissance Man and an educator, both facets of his character evidenced in Musician!, and [his] album If You Only Knew. What Wilensky provides over these two offerings is a master class in tasteful and well-behaved musicianship in the real world . . .dense with information, and presented with a wry sense of humor and a wink . . .Entertaining, informative, reverent and helpful, Musician! is a treat for anyone interested in music.
— C. Michael Bailey
All About Jazz (2011)
Dan Wilensky's world-class musical skills are one-in-a-million, and the results of where those skills have taken him, and the experience and lessons he has since distilled, are here for musicians of every caliber to absorb and for all readers to enjoy.
— Amazon.com (2010)
I placed an order for several copies of your book today with Amazon . . . Of course, it would be difficult for any one person to do everything you suggest, but you have done a wonderful job of compiling the whole ball of wax into one book. It's a "NO BS" book, has alot of sensibility in it, both musically as well as philosophically, and a wonderful collection of humorous bits, always dropped at the right moment! So, well done, Dan . . . I'll be spreading the word!
— Bobby Shew (2010)
We share the same perspectives about character, ethics and integrity - I also resonated with the empathy you have for others. That takes good parenting, a lot of life experience, getting outside of oneself, humility, and deeply ingrained self-esteem and earned self-confidence.
— Eric Nemeyer,
Publisher of Jazz Inside (2010)
From Dan's library readings:
Click HERE to read a review in the Manalapan Press.
A huge "thank you" to you for your outstanding presentation at the library the other night. The reviews are in and everybody is giving you raves! Thanks for enriching the lives of our community!
— Marilyn Scherfen
Director, A.H. Public Library (2010)
I just wanted to thank you again for your program and your showmanship! I know the folks who heard you really enjoyed it. I look forward to having you back.
— Ellen O'Brien
Director, Tinton Falls Public Library (2010)
ADVANCED SAX (2000):
Advanced Sax is an incredibly difficult yet exceptionally hip book of saxophone patterns and etudes.
— Saxophone Journal (2011)
This is the book I've been looking for. Finally, challenging exercises that sound good.
— Leslie Klaus (2009)
It's a great book!
— Zach Ferguson (2006)
AND THEN SOME (1997):
This is the first solo release for a man whose varied pedigree includes stints with Ray Charles, David Bowie, Faith No More, Steve Winwood, Madonna, R. Kelly and many others. He was also a member of the seminal Who It is!, which counted Richard Tee, Steve Gadd, Cornell Dupree and Will Lee among its members. Everything about this release is top-notch, from the material to the recording to the packaging. Needless to say, the performances are outstanding as well. There is an element of experimentation and grit that takes this way beyond CD 101, yet it is as smooth and groovin' as anything you'd hear there. Wilensky's tone - whether on soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxes or flute and alto flute - is full of depth and warmth and expression.
— Musician's Exchange (October,1997)
Wilensky has a groovy sax playing style with a touch of funk. A great solo artist that gives contemporary jazz fans a treat. A name that I'm sure we will hear more from soon!
— Jazzreview.com (March, 1998)
I've listened to this CD at least a dozen times, and I keep hearing new things. This is instrumental music for people who are bored by instrumental music. Excellent!
— iTunes Customer (December, 2010)