JFS #145 The Senator Eugene Wright Interview

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Melodic invention- a word developed by another bass player named Putter Smith who defines this as European Swing coupled with African Rhythms. It doesn't really matter where it started because it was sprinkled with Dixieland in the south Harlem Soul in the north  Blues in St Louis up the Mississippi Delta to Chicago. This fusing of music included a young farmer from the valleys of California who worked a farm by day and sock hops by night. He became a fixture of San Francisco melodic invention being partially responsible for desegregating the army with his mixed race bands like the guys he grew up with on the farm. His first group included my guest who like Al McKibbon and John Heard The Skipper Henry Franklin, and Scott Lafaro found his way through the European swing by using African Rhythms. His rhythm simpatico was Joe Morello who brought an additional element of 5/4 time and a Dixieland bouncy that further colored this mixed race band. He is the only living member of the classic quartet. After taking five my guest went on to collaborate with Billie Holiday, kenny Drew, Sonny Stitt, Cal Tjader and Monty Alexander. He has written books on bass and played the supper club circuit of upstate New York, he has toured the world bringing melodic invention to India and Japan and South America.

 

 

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Eugene Wright [Download]

 

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