Tune in to Live Constructions this Sunday as we feature free improv saxophonist Jack Wright. We will present two solo saxophone pieces that Jack recorded for the show in the our studios. We then sit down with Jack to talk about how his philosophy and playing have evolved over the last 40 years in the free improv scene.
After teaching at Temple University in the 1960s and leaving academia in the early 1970s to engage in radical politics and community organizing, by the late 1970s Wright directed his energies into music. He is one of a very small group of musicians in North America that has played improvised music exclusively since the 1970s. Through years of near constant touring, often performing for audiences in cities and towns where improvised music had never before been heard, he came to be regarded as something of an underground legend. He has deliberately eschewed the conventions and socio-aesthetic limitations of musical careerism to pursue his own vision. Although his de-professionalized approach sets him apart from most musicians at his level of accomplishment, his art has always grown, expanded, and synthesized new information. He is unquestionably an original and virtuosic saxophonist, a master improviser who is deeply lyrical, with humor never far away.
Today Wright tours frequently in Europe and North America (and in Japan in 2006), making new musical and human connections, bringing European musicians to the U.S. and bringing musicians everywhere together. His inspiration has provided crucial impetus to hundreds of musicians and has even motivated several people to establish music venues in order to present him and other improvisers (e.g. Baltimore’s High Zero festival). His vast list of collaborators includes some “name” luminaries (William Parker, Axel Dorner, Michel Doneda, Andrea Neumann, Denman Maroney, Bhob Rainey to name a few) but more significant are the many obscure greats he has played with. He has made over 40 recordings (many published on his own Spring Garden label), performed in over 20 countries, and written extensively and insightfully about music and society for journals such as Improjazz (France) and Signal to Noise (US), as well as his own website.
Biography modified from http://www.springgardenmusic.com/jackbio.html