Sample tape: 1979​-​1985

by Jack Wright, alto, tenor, soprano saxophones

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This is a Spring Garden Music release, SGM 23. For information on the artist go to And note that each track you click on has information specific to that track.

The “Sample Tape” I produced in the mid-80s was my usual means to communicate with people musically besides performing, a collage of what I considered my favorites, taking recording quality into account. For this release (hard copies also) I have added, edited, digitally improved, and passed over some of the original in the light of new discoveries. Each piece is accompanied by its own textual explanation, but let me add something general:

This is the first result of a long process of digging into the archives and releasing material, most of which had impressed me at the time. I am then my own curator, which raises the question for me, am I following some principle or another? Is there a consistency between now and the past, such that the same piece continues to thrill me, or to lack what I need to hear? At least the standard is my feeling and need, not a concept of artistic excellence, distinction from others, or potential audience interest, which has never guided me. I don’t assume that others will react the same way, but at the time I could only imagine that my joy in playing was an overflow of musical ideas from deep within that would be contagious.

My mission was a transformation of my late-60s/early 70s revolutionary zeal--radical politics in a musical form that went against the grain. As I began traveling through the US it seemed so much more direct and unambiguous than what could be communicated by words and demonstrations. Unlike earlier, however, there was a personal element, for I felt that I would naturally achieve some distinction and public recognition, doing nothing to advance myself except playing. In the Reagan years we were in the midst of backlash, but I couldn’t imagine it would be successful. In the end I could only be received as the last gasp of sixties’ naïve exuberance, passé in an age when direct, emotionally charged expression was perceived as an act, contrived to attract attention to the artist. The version of artist coming into vogue would have to play by professional rules and work for success, a pill I wasn’t about to swallow. What remains of that period however is the physical record, with more to come.
This CD is Spring Garden Music (SGM) 23


released June 1, 2015




Spring Garden Music Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Spring Garden Music is first of all a house owned by Jack Wright on a street of that name in Phila. and occupied by improvising musicians. It is also the name for a collective musical project, and a record label, available on the website below. Images are paintings by Barbara Upton or Jack Wright ... more

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