The Wire


The Free Musics by Jack Wright

The Free Musics by Jack Wright

Published by Spring Garden Music Editions 316 pp & CD (2017)

Price: £15
Postage and packing:
UK – free
Overseas airmail – £2
Subscribers to The Wire get a discount of £2 off each copy

Publisher Spring Garden Music writes:

“The free musics are free jazz and free improvisation: genres rooted in the 60s that continue today under different circumstances. Their approach was originally exploratory free playing, which encouraged the maximum range of sound and feeling. In Europe they were and still are accepted genres for career professionals. In North America this is only true for free jazz, a style that continues basically unchanged since its origins. Free improvisation that does not communicate a jazz or free jazz identity and feeling is outside the range of media attention, art music audiences, and credentialing institutions.

“Free playing is found as often in private sessions as in performance, and is first of all aimed at convincing the musicians themselves. It follows their moment-to-moment intuitions interacting with one another. Its strength is to enter play with the lightness of ‘let’s see what happens’, which is no guarantee that the result will be valued musically. As a result, this approach has not been the pursuit of many professional musicians.

“This book presents a new way of looking at the music, not from the perspective of consumers, the promotional media, and academics, but the situation musicians find themselves in. It takes into account their assumptions and practices – their musical approach, relations to the music world, to each other, and to the social order, conditions that have changed since the origins of the free musics.

“Jack Wright is a saxophonist who turned to playing free music in 1979 and hasn't regretted his decision. He has toured widely in North America and Europe ever since. He is open to playing with others, whether experienced or not, and approaches his own playing with a questioning spirit. He has been variously called ‘the Johnny Appleseed of free improvisation’, ‘an undergrounder by design’, and ‘the king of experimental free improvisation’.”

The book comes with a free 76 minute CD You Haven't Heard This made specially for this purpose featuring a performance by Wright's group Roughhousing in Johnson City, Tennessee, in September 2016, plus recent Jack Wright solos on alto and soprano saxes.