Jack Wright: As Is: Solos from Beirut and Barcelona (2006)
Dear Mr. Jack Wright,
Please don't sell out your ideals for a quick dollar. With the increasing interest in free jazz improvisation, don't license you music to club DJs for a remix project. If you get an offer, don't do a standards record, a Jack Wright With Strings recording, or a duet session with Tony Bennett, Bono or David Hasselhoff.
A dedicated listener
Certainly I jest, but indeed the global market for Jack Wright's very personal brand of free playing has expanded his notoriety and his audience. Wright's latest outing, consisting of saxophone solos made on tour in Beirut and Barcelona, may never be in heavy rotation on jazz radio. But it is a consistently great addition to the series that includes Up For Grabs (2005) and Places To Go (2000), both on his Spring Garden Music label.
What's immediately striking about these live sessions is the silent attention the audience gives Wright's music-making. Every breath, sigh, sputter, splat and key rattle is documented here. And where some improvisation recordings leave you wishing for a visual, the quiet of these three lengthy pieces is somehow persuasive.
Wright long ago abandoned melody and rhythm. But in the twenty or so years I have been listening to his playing, he has developed his own vocabulary of sound and internal rhythm. Recent recordings, and this is a prime example, find Wright slowing the pace of his delivery. He presents one thought at a time, enlarging patterns and textures in as deliberate a manner as any free player could.
Satisfyingly meditative, Jack Wright's playing on As Is provides an inventive 52 minutes of listening.
Track Listing: Track One (Beirut); Track Two (Beirut); Track Three (Barcelona).
Personnel: Jack Wright: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone.