Wilson, Shadow [Rossiere] (Yonkers, NY, 25 Sept 1919 - New York, 11 July 1959)




From 1939 he worked with some of the leading big bands of the period; his most important engagements were with Lucky Millinder (1939), Benny Carter, Tiny Bradshaw (1940), Lionel Hampton (1940-41), Earl Hines (1941-3), Count Basie (1944-6, 1948), and Woody Herman (1949). He also played in small groups led by Illinois Jacquet (1946-7, 1949-50, 1952-4), Erroll Garner (1950-52), Ella Fitzgerald (1954-5), and Thelonious Monk (1957-8). During the 1950s he performed frequently with Sonny Stitt, and he recorded with a variety of leaders, including Basie, Joe Newman, Monk, and Lee Konitz. For the first decade of his career Wilson was noted as the driving rhythmic force behind large orchestras, and after 1950 he became highly regarded for his work in small groups. Equally proficient using sticks or brushes, he was one of the most flexible and accomplished drummers, and an unfailingly sensitive player.


 Mark Gardner


The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, Macmillan Reference Ltd 1988