Leo Wright

In 1968 MPS Records assembled four alto saxophonists who, together, represented the spectrum of 1960s post-bop alto sax. Alto Summit featured Lee Konitz with his angular, abstract lines that stretched the boundaries of jazz, Phil Woods, feet firmly planted in the bop tradition, Norwood “Pony” Poindexter, the often overlooked reedman who never lost bop’s blues roots, and Leo Wright, in whose playing can be heard the full spectrum: bop, hard bop, Texas blues, and third stream, along with a healthy dose of Latin and African flavors.

Leo Nash Wright was born on December 14, 1933 in Wichita Falls, Texas. He took up the saxophone in the early 1940s under the tutelage of his father Mel, who taught him, “Don’t forget what came before.” He was influenced early on by blues greats Louis Jordan and fellow Texan Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson. As Wright told one reporter, “People in the South know the blues.” His first alto idol, however, was Johnny Hodges whom Wright called the “father of the alto saxophone.”

It was also inevitable that a young altoist in the fifties would fall under the spell of Charlie Parker. “Whatever Bird was doing, in all his music,” Wright said of his predecessor, “he retained the idea of the blues.” Wright could never have imagined that just a few years out of college he would play Bird’s former role as the foil to Dizzy Gillespie.

Read more

Tags

Albums

Soul Talk

Chief Records
2005

buy

Flamingo / Please...

Chief Records
1978

buy

Are You Lonesome...

Chief Records
1976

buy

Suddenly The Blues

Chief Records
1962

buy

Evening Breeze

Chief Records
0

buy

Blues Shout

Chief Records
0

buy

Watch

Similar

Shop Amazon

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.