Unity Part II

Saxophonist Frank Wright (1935-1990) was hailed by his peers as “Reverend Frank Wright” because of the profundity of his improvisational prowess rather than his religious inclinations. Yet to this day his work remains far less-known than that of his nearly deified contemporaries John Coltrane and Albert Ayler. In fact, despite the fact that it was recorded in 1974, this nearly hour-long quartet session has just been released commercially for the first time in 2006. If anyone out there whose views of jazz have been shaped by the Ken Burns documentary still needs some evidence, Wright and his equal partners in music making here—pianist Bobby Few, bassist Alan Silva, and drummer Muhammad Ali (not the former heavyweight great but equally a champ)—are yet further proof that jazz didn’t die when Coltrane did.

—FJO

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