Northwest State of Mind

Northwest State of Mind  from my album Made In Portland, is a tribute to my adopted home, the magnificent Pacific Northwest. Having travelled the world, I can confirm that there’s nothing else quite like this place. If you live or have visited here, you know what I mean. If you haven’t, start making plans!

The video speaks for itself, but I’d like to point out that the pristine scenery is partly a result of so many people cherishing the land. Responsible environmental stewardship and responsible industry are not mutually exclusive. (more…)

ALL IN ALL (2020)

I composed the music for All In All during the last two weeks of December, 2019, and the first week of 2020. It was one of the most fertile periods I can remember. I wrote every morning and night, and ended up with 20 new compositions. I picked my favorite dozen for this project, and added my arrangement of a joyous gospel classic, Soon and Very Soon.... Continue Reading

Good Music (2018)

Featuring Dan Balmer, Dave Captein and Jason Palmer “There are only two kinds of music. Good music and the other kind."  – Duke Ellington. It’s a phrase I’ve heard my whole life.  Early on, I realized that it doesn’t really matter what style of music you play; it’s who you’re playing with, and whether you’re achieving that collective symbiosis.  It’s about serving the song.  When I studied with Joe Henderson at 17, and toured with Ray Charles at 18, both men reinforced ... Continue Reading

Made in Portland (2015)

4 STARS IN DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE! FEATURED ON DOWNBEAT'S BEST ALBUMS OF 2015 LIST!  Start with three of Portland’s leading ladies – Rebecca Kilgore, Anandi Gefroh, and Laura Cunard, – add eight first-class musicians, including Dan Balmer, Michael Raynor, Dan Gaynor, John Moak, and Israel Annoh, and you’ve got a sublime sonic affair. Wilensky keeps it moving using various configurations (duets to nonets) and innovative, joyful arrangements of eight new originals and five covers, ... Continue Reading

Back in the Mix (2012)

Dan Wilensky’s Back In The Mix features Mark Soskin (piano), Dean Johnson (bass), Tony Moreno (drums), and special guest Russ Johnson (trumpet) in a musical tour-de-force. "Brilliant." –Midwest Record (February, 2012) Wilensky’s 4th recording as a leader includes new arrangements of Cole Porter’s “Falling In Love With Love,” Gross and Lawrence’s “Tenderly,” “Lament” by the great J.J. Johnson, and 6 new Wilensky originals. The creative virtuosity of long-time band ... Continue Reading

Group Therapy (2011)

Group Therapy features guitarist David Phelps, bassist Dean Johnson, drummer Tony Moreno, and Wilensky on tenor saxophone. This project celebrates several gifts we often take for granted: spontaneous collective improvisation; harmony in discord; the moment. ". . . uncanny group empathy." –Jazz Times (October, 2011) It's a pleasure to hear musicians of this caliber interpret my compositions: every time we play, the possibilities multiply. After our first rehearsal, I had to reassess many ... Continue Reading

If Only You Knew (2010)

Dan Wilensky's 2010 release, If You Only Knew, features pianist Bob Himmelberger (Charlie Rouse, Nelson Riddle), bassist Dean Johnson (Gerry Mulligan, Bill Frisell), and drummer Scott Neumann (Dave Liebman, Maria Schneider). The CD includes 9 original compositions by Wilensky, plus new versions of "Tea For Two," and Horace Silver's "Peace." "Were we to consider If You Only Knew academically, it would be a master class on composition, interpretation, performance, practice and repertoire ... Continue Reading

And Then Some (1997)

And Then Some is a warm, soulful, left-of-center combo platter of instrumental funk, blues, and jazz starring Wilensky and 20 of New York's first-call musicians; not your average bear. Dan Wilensky's debut CD, And Then Some, was released in 1997, but sounds truly fresh. It features 17 original instrumentals, recorded and mixed in New York's best studios by Kyle Kelso. Passion, soul, and humor reign on this recording. Wilensky blends elements of funk, blues, jazz, and rock in a timeless-sou... Continue Reading

Miscellaneous Tracks

Here’s music from various recording sessions I did – some very well-known, others obscure. Enjoy!... Continue Reading