Spring Garden Music began in 1982 as the name given to a bunch of raucous improvisers from Philadelphia. Some of these musicians lived in a house on Spring Garden Street, that was owned by a rambunctious 40-year-old (now 64) saxophonist, Jack Wright. It became the name for the label of his first record, and then more generally for the adventure of himself and his musical partners. This music expanded and changed as he criss-crossed North America, and also Europe, adding partners from everywhere, in performances and private sessions. After a 16-year disappearance in the wilds of Colorado, Jack returned to the East Coast in 2003, and now lives in nearby Easton PA, on--amazingly enough--a street named Spring Garden. He travels even wider horizons, and brings back players from afar to play at the house in Philadelphia. He has also stocked the house with improvisers, ready to receive visitors interested in like-minded musical experiences. As of March 2007 these are Dave Smolen, percussion and electronics; Evan Lipson, bass; Jon Barrios, bass, Ann Weste, cello; and Alban Bailly, guitar, and Dan Scofield, saxophone.
This music is known as free improvisation, a music without known structure or mainstream visibility, bold enough to be uncomfortable with itself. This website opens the door to those who want to look in on this playing and some of the thought behind it. It is another room in the house, where questions are raised about the fundamental direction of our music, and every answer provokes further questions, even doubts. The site is not just for the devotees of this obscure music, but for all who love music that creates itself. We are searching for what will open us to the unknown that lies within, which includes but is not limited to the musical direction we have chosen.
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The Washington Post once allowed this to be printed: "In the rarefied, underground world of experimental free improvisation, saxophonist Jack Wright is king". And a German publication, Bad Alchemy, had this to say of his solo: "Wright does not make music, he embodies it, he transforms it with a naiveté of another order. It grows into a sound river, he is part of the diaphragm through which the heterogeneous whispers."
Signal to Noise Magazine
Interview with John Berndt