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Wright, Jack : Sample Tape: 1979-1985 (Spring Garden Music)

In the 80s sasxophonist Jack Wright used his "Sample Tape" as a way of communicating his own personal views and preferences in his playing to others; this release updates that calling card with new, edited, and improved works, as he digs through his extensive recording archives.

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product information:

Label: Spring Garden Music
Catalog ID: SGM-23
Squidco Product Code: 22518

Format: CDR
Condition: New
Released: 2015
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard sleeve
Recorded in various cities between 1979 and 1986 by the artist.


Jack Wright-alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone

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Artist Biographies:

"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 (

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track listing:

1. Greensboro1984 - Alto Sax 8:34

2. Free Life, Singing (album) 1982 Tenor Solo 4:09

3. Lars Rudolph Duo Toronto 1984 Alto Sax 12:17

4. Marv Frank Duo 1984 Alto Sax 5:22

5. Free Life, Singing 1982 Alto Solo 2:09

6. Wittwulf Malik Duo Philadelphia 1984 6:39

7. Hamburg - Alto Solo 1985 7:11

8. Hamburg - Soprano Sax 1985 3:57

9. Roger Turner Duo - Minneapolis - 1985 1:41

10. William Parker Duo - NY - 1985 18:13

11. The August Tape - 1979 6:28
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"The Sample Tape I [Jack Wright] produced in the mid-80s was my usual means to communicate with people musically besides performing, a collage of what I considered my favorites, taking recording quality into account.

For this release (hard copies also) I have added, edited, digitally improved, and passed over some of the original in the light of new discoveries. Each piece is accompanied by its own textual explanation, but let me add something general: This is the first result of a long process of digging into the archives and releasing material, most of which had impressed me at the time.

I am then my own curator, which raises the question for me, am I following some principle or another? Is there a consistency between now and the past, such that the same piece continues to thrill me, or to lack what I need to hear? At least the standard is my feeling and need, not a concept of artistic excellence, distinction from others, or potential audience interest, which has never guided me.

I don'tassume that others will react the same way, but at the time I could only imagine that my joy in playing was an overflow of musical ideas from deep within that would be contagious. My mission was a transformation of my late-60s/early 70s revolutionary zeal--radical politics in a musical form that went against the grain.

As I began traveling through the US it seemed so much more direct and unambiguous than what could be communicated by words and demonstrations. Unlike earlier, however, there was a personal element, for I felt that I would naturally achieve some distinction and public recognition, doing nothing to advance myself except playing.

In the Reagan years we were in the midst of backlash, but I couldn't imagine it would be successful. In the end I could only be received as the last gasp of sixties' naave exuberance, passe in an age when direct, emotionally charged expression was perceived as an act, contrived to attract attention to the artist. The version of artist coming intovogue would have to play by professional rules and work for success, a pill I wasn't about to swallow.

What remains of that period however is the physical record, with more to come."-Jack Wright

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Recordings by or featuring Reed & Wind Players
Solo Artist Recordings

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