One can immediately hear the influence of Ornette Coleman in the music of alto saxophonist and composer Immanuel Wilkins. Having gotten his start playing in his church and in youth programs in Philadelphia, Wilkins has gone on to perform or record with artists as diverse as Jason Moran, Solange Knowles and Bob Dylan. Wilkins is currently enrolled at the Juilliard School.
Wilkins has a wonderfully agile way of phrasing, incorporating be-bop logic with racing curves and then sliding in slippery 180s and mini stops, sanding off the edges of the breakneck sequences by giving a liquid glide to a line. Wilkins has studied with Steve Coleman and with Wesleyan’s Tyshawn Sorey.
The Immanuel Wilkins Quartet performs as part of Yale’s Winter Underbrook Series at The Saybrook Underbrook, 242 Elm St., New Haven, on Friday, March 9, at 8 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public.