Legendary jazz bassist Gene Perla has teamed up with a pair of rising jazz talents and a stalwart drummer to form the Horizons Quartet. Co-founded by saxophonist Dan Wilkins and pianist James Collins, and anchored by Perla and celebrated drummer Byron Landham, this new musical iteration will release their self-titled debut on June 25, 2021 on Perla’s own PM Records. There is a pre-release show planned at Chris’ Jazz Cafe in Philadelphia on June 10th with an official release show at the iconic Deer Head Inn, located in Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania to take place on June 27th.
This self-titled debut features an all-original program composed and conceived by Wilkins, who is a highly sought-after and acclaimed player based in Eastern Pennsylvania. Over the past several years, Wilkins has toured Europe extensively with his father Skip Wilkins, and has appeared on three recordings with him including Father and Son (2012), Someday (2019) and Czech Wishes (2019). Now, with his peer, pianist James Collins, he steps into the driver’s seat with Horizons Quartet, and shines brightly alongside the two veteran rhythmic pillars, Perla and Landham. Landham has played with a “who’s who” of jazz greats including Betty Carter, Houston Person, Joey DeFrancesco, and many others.
Gene Perla is a bonafide bass legend with a mile-long resumé that includes stints with Sarah Vaughan, Jimmy Cobb and Miles Davis. Perla famously played alongside Dave Liebman on Elvin Jones’ immortal Live at the Lighthouse (1973). On that gig, Liebman shared that he was looking for the right label to release his then-new live album, Open Sky (1973). Perla took the question to heart and in response he started his own record label, PM Records with Open Sky as its inaugural release. Decades later, PM Records remains an active and vital entity, with Horizons Quartet its latest offering. Perla and Wilkins have a long-standing relationship originally stemming from their geographic location – both are known to play the Deer Head Inn- and they have collaborated in various settings over the years.
“From the first days of meeting and playing with Dan I felt an old soul present. It’s so great to find a youngster who thinks before playing. Miles was a master at dealing with space. I was told that he once said to a stymied musician, “When you think of something to play, don’t play it.” And Byron is a blast to hit with. From beat one, the pocket was there,” said Perla of the newly formed group. “This is a fun quartet to make music with.”