Reviews that mention Frank Wright

January 6, 2013

Frank Wright

Blues for Albert Ayler
ESP-Disk ESP-4068

By Ken Waxman

A saxophonist who invalidated the shibboleth that avant gardists had no jazz roots every time he put his horn to his mouth was Frank Wright (1935-1990). Born in Mississippi, and initially an R&B bassist, Wright settled in Cleveland, where under Albert Ayler’s tutelage he began playing tenor saxophone. Nicknamed “The Reverend” for his soulful style mixing the blues with tonal experiments, Wright moved to Europe in the late ‘60s, residing there until his death. MORE

August 6, 2012

In Print

Music in My Soul
Noah Howard (Buddy’s Knife)

By Ken Waxman

Metaphorically, alto saxophonist Noah Howard’s musical life mirrored the history of jazz. Born April 6, 1943 in New Orleans, the music’s purported cradle, before his death on Sept. 3, 2010 in Belgium, Howard had travelled to San Francisco and New York, recorded for small labels like ESP-Disk, expatriated overseas, toured Europe, Africa and India, while developing ties with emerging local players. Completed just days before his death from a cerebral hemorrhage, Music in My Soul is written in the artless but competent prose of a constantly working musician with some haziness in chronology, spelling and details. MORE

December 5, 2011

Ogun Records

Label Spotlight
By Ken Waxman

Nearly 40 years after it released its first disc – and after pressing about 40 LPs and 30 CDs – London-based Ogun Records is still chugging along, with managing director Hazel Miller maintaining it as a one-woman show. Strongly identified with the South African musicians who fled Apartheid for the United Kingdom during the 1960s as well as with the British innovators affiliated with them, Ogun puts out three to four CDs annually. The discs are a mixture of CD transfers of important LPs; newly recorded discs; plus never-before-released historical sessions. MORE

October 30, 2011

Louis Moholo-Moholo/Dudu Pukwana/Johnny Dyani/Rev. Frank Wright

Spiritual Knowledge And Grace
Ogun OGCD 035

Elton Dean’s Ninesense


Jazzwerkstatt JW 107

Prime, hitherto-unreleased slices of Jazz’s past, these CDs not only bring into circulation historically important live performances, but also confirm the skills of featured percussionist Louis Moholo-Moholo. One of the last surviving members of the many South African improvisers who left the country in the early 1960s because of Apartheid, Moholo, 71, still plays in fine form, and has returned to live in South Africa. MORE

November 14, 2006

Peter Brötzmann

Atavistic ALP257CD

Pica Pica
Atavistic ALP258CD

Two more valuable CD reissues of Wuppertal, Germany-based saxophonist Peter Brötzmann’s work for FMP in the 1980s once again show his versatility. One disk offers proof positive that the hard-driving reedist can easily hold up his side in an all-star trio configuration, while the other shows how he helps spark aural fireworks in a nonet situation.

Ironically the aptly-named Alarm almost ended up being more than a fanciful “blast from the past”. This Hamburg radio gig with a multi-national cast of nine Free Jazzers had to be interrupted after the 40 odd minutes captured on the disc were recorded because a phoned-in bomb threat meant that the audience, technicians and musicians had to quickly evacuate the hall. MORE

February 28, 2005


Last Set: Live at the 1369 Jazz Club
Boxholder BXH 042

Berlin Djungle
Atavistic Unheard Music Series UMS/ALP 246CD

Getting an understanding of the situation for committed free improvisers in Europe as opposed to the United States in the mid-1980s is pretty obvious when listening to these two live CDs, recorded about two months apart, both of which happen to have William Parker in the bass chair.

In early November 1984, German reedist Peter Brötzmann put together an international, all-star, 11-piece “Clarinet Project” for a special concert in a Berlin theatre as part of that city’s Jazzfest. Beside himself the clarinetists were Tony Coe from England, Louis Sclavis from France, East German Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky and J. D. Parran and John Zorn from the U.S. But that’s not all. The ensemble also included Japanese trumpeter Toshinori Kondo, East German Johannes Bauer and Briton Alan Tomlinson on trombones, with British drummer Tony Oxley supplying the bottom along with Parker. By all accounts the one lengthy piece was welcomed by the audience. MORE