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12 improvisations representing various groupings with saxophonist Jack Wright, including solo work on alto and soprano, a duo with trombonist Stan Nishamura, six trios with 2 different groups, and a sextet; a great introduction to his diverse interests and exploratory nature.

Wright, Jack

Wright, Jack : Thaw (Spring Garden Music)

Label: Spring Garden Music    
Released in: USA    

"The sort of radical improvisation practiced by Jack Wright is unburdened by preconception, but not by experience. Though each track is spontaneously produced, it is nonetheless the product of considerable discipline and training.

All 12 of these remarkable improvisations reflect a different side of Wright, from the reflective to the ecstatic, ranking with the best of his work. There are several collections of musicians represented: The album consists of two solos by Wright, one on soprano sax and one on alto; six trio tracks, with two separate groups, featuring Wright's alternating horns; a sextet; and a lengthy duo between Wright and trombonist Stan Nishamura.

Throughout, there are numerous sounds of surprise, with the saxophonist's jabbing lines and spurting cascades of notes the central attraction. What makes this recording so interesting is not only the extraordinary musicianship, but the diversity. There is even a touch of humor on "Sextet (With As)," where distorted voices, flute, and little sounds roll in a melange of cacophony.

Surprisingly perhaps, the saxophonist eschews extended technique, instead focusing on a well-toned jazz-infused style that reaches back to early Ornette Coleman. Wright rarely repeats himself, and he consciously avoids licks. There is an unusual amount of lyrical content for this sort of music. You might call it free improv -- with a heart."-Steve Loewy

"Jack Wright was born Pittsburgh PA in 1942 and grew up around Philadelphia and Chicago. He began playing saxophone in 1952, with private instruction; also singing in groups large and small through 1964, including a blue grass trio (playing washtub bass), which recorded an album, "Undertaking Bluegrass." After this he ceased playing music. He attended Lafayette College in Easton PA, where he studied European history and literature and graduated 1964; Johns Hopkins University, MA in European history, 1972; taught history at CCNY in NY and then Temple U. 1967-72, after which he left the academic world. In this latter period he was involved in left politics, organizing mainly on a community level, and began to become involved with music again.

Described twenty years ago as an "undergrounder by design," Jack Wright is a veteran saxophone improviser based mainly in Philadelphia. He has played mostly on tour through the US and Europe since the early 80s in search of interesting partners and playing situations. Now at 72 he is still the "Johnny Appleseed of Free Improvisation," as guitarist Davey Williams called him in the 80s, on the road as much as ever. And he continues to inspire players outside music-school careerdom, playing sessions with visiting and resident players old and new. His partners over the years are mostly unknown to the music press, and too numerous to mention. He's said to have the widest vocabulary of any, including leaping pitches, punchy, precise timing, sharp and intrusive multiphonics, surprising gaps of silence, and obscene animalistic sounds. A reviewer for the Washington Post said, "In the rarefied, underground world of experimental free improvisation, saxophonist Jack Wright is king"."

-Jack Wright Website (

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Recordings by or featuring Reed & Wind Players
Solo Artist Recordings
Trio Recordings
Sextet Recordings
New in Improvised Music
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Price: $13.95
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Shipping Weight: 4.00 units

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Product Information:

Label: Spring Garden Music
Catalog ID: SGM-002
Squidco Product Code: 22355

Format: CDR
Condition: New
Released: 1992
Country: USA
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded live in the Summer of 1992 in Colorado, by Barry Gilbert.


Jack Wright-saxophone

Bob Marsh-cello, flute

Murray Reams-drums

Michael O'Neill-guitar

Stan Nishimura-trombone

Terry Sines-double bass

Gordon Kennedy-drums

Justin Perdue-guitar

Jeremy Harlos-double bass

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Track Listing:

1. Soprano Sax Solo 5:52

2. Trio 1(With As) 3:14

3. Trio 1(With Ts) 2:02

4. Trio 1(Withss) 4:07

5. Alto Sax Solo 6:37

6. Sextet(With Ts) 6:34

7. Sextet (With As) 6:50

8. Sextet (With As) 4:23

9. Duo (Ss) 11:01

10. Trio 2 (With Ts) 9:51

11. Trio2 (With As) 7:16

12. Trio 1 (Jack On Piano) 7:25

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