Frank Wright

Tags: free jazz jazz avant-garde esp-disk avant-garde jazz Powered by AudioScrobbler
Decades: 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s


9 July 1935, Grenada, Mississippi, USA, d. 17 May 1990, Wuppertal, Germany. Wright grew up in Memphis and, later, in Cleveland alongside Albert Ayler, whose influence persuaded him to switch to tenor saxophone from double bass (on which instrument he had backed visiting blues stars such as B.B. King and Bobby Bland). He developed a ferocious, vocalized saxophone style that was rooted in Ayler’s innovations and, on moving to New York in 1965, associated with John Coltrane, Sunny Murray and Cecil Taylor, as well as recording two albums for the avant garde ESP label. In 1969 he moved to Europe with Noah Howard, settled in Paris with a band that included pianist Bobby Few, drummer Muhammad Ali and (later) Alan Silva and for many years helped to run the Center Of The World record label.

Nicknamed ‘the Reverend’, Wright stayed in Europe for most of the 70s and 80s: though out of the jazz spotlight, he continued to play the intense,...

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by Frank Wright