Immanuel Wilkins “The 7th Hand”
Immanuel Wilkins‘s debut as a leader for Blue Note two years ago was considered an actual event. Many saw it as sophisticated and mature work. For JazzTimes, “Omega” (that’s the album’s title) was the most important debut jazz recording in years. The New York Times named it the no. 1 Jazz Album of 2020. The second album, still for Blue Note, came out in January 2022: a seven-movement complex suite that proves the value of Wilkins as a composer, not only a saxophonist with a warm sound that recalls gospel tones.
He was born in Philadelphia and then moved to New York, where he entered the inner circle of jazz. Wilkins’s mentors were Jason Moran, Ambrose Akinmusire, and Joel Ross: he has earned a reputation as one of the leading musicians of American jazzmen’s young generation. His quartet is one of the finest groups today. Their collaborations with Wynton Marsalis and Gerald Clayton are among the main ones.
Wilkins is also a member of the recent band called Captain Black Big Band, conducted by Orrin Evans.