The quintet of Jack(sax), Patrick(trombone), Damon(double bass), Mike Yarrish (double bass) and Phil Mazza (guitar) will follow shortly after.
Donations to these traveling musicians will be appreciated.
Described twenty-five years
ago as an "undergrounder by design," Jack Wright is a veteran
saxophone improviser based mainly in Philadelphia but living in Easton
PA. In 1979, after an academic career teaching at Temple University
(European History) and activist politics, he returned to the instrument
of his youth. Almost immediately he discovered free improvisation, which
was virtually unknown at the time; he is one of the few who have played
this exclusively since then. He plays mostly on tour through the US
and Europe in search of interesting partners and playing situations.
Now at 74 he is still the "Johnny Appleseed of Free Improvisation,"
as guitarist Davey Williams called him back in the 80s, continuing to
inspire musicians, playing and organizing sessions and gigs with
visiting and resident players old and new. His Spring Garden Music House
has been around since 1977, for the past twelve years housing only improvisers
and providing space for playing.
He has been able to avoid the standard
career aimed at visibility and prestige, seeing it as a musical hindrance.
The partners he's preferred over the years have also been mostly unknown
to the music press, and too numerous to list here. His current focus
is with the growing underground scene, of whom he finds the most promising
are Zach Darrup, guitar, Jim Strong, invented instruments, Ben Bennett,
percussion, Matt Tomlinson, bass guitar, and Joel Kromer, electronics.
Jack is "a musician's musician"
yet unschooled in music, gaining ideas from interacting with partners
and his specialized discipline. He's said to have the widest vocabulary
of any, an expert at leaping pitches, punchy, precise timing, the entire
range of volume, intrusive and sculptured multiphonics, vocalizations,
and obscene animalistic sounds. You'll hear the most conventional jazz
sound one minute and "post-electronic saxophone" the next.
His playing sums up his 38 years of improvising, from wild, unstoppable
free jazz at first to very reduced, quiet playing around 2000. In the
past ten years he's come back to more physically engaged playing, but
with a phrasing and space unique among sax players.
In Jan. 2017 he had a book
published, The Free Musics,
which is becoming very popular among improvisers. He has been writing
since the 80s, seeking to comprehend not just the beauty of this unsettling
music but its implications for the music world and the social order.
Consistently promoting free playing as the ground zero of music, he
has been open to playing with anyone who asks.
A reviewer for the Washington Post
said, "In the rarefied, underground world of experimental free
improvisation, saxophonist Jack Wright is king."