The young Anson Wright began his thirst for knowledge at Princeton and left post-graduate studies at Columbia to quench a different thirst, his musical creativity. Living in New York City’s East Village, Wright was able to absorb performances by Charles Mingus at the Five Spot, which ignited his passion for improvisation. Wright is a gifted fingerstyle guitarist who has played with Howard Roberts, John Stowell and Jerry Hahn, as well as Charlie Parker protege Bob Newman and veteran pianist Harry Gillgam.
Only Love is Wright’s third album and features his working quartet: Brian Casey on bass, Todd Scott Bishop on drums and Jasnam Daya Singh on piano. The collection is adorned with original modern jazz compositions, seven by Wright, two by Singh.
“Rahway Blues” is a riff-based blues melody with an added interlude. The swing feel is built on the steady rhythm section of Casey and Bishop. Casey’s bass solo is melodic, and his percussive sound brings clarity and direction to his lines. Wright’s solo is built around exciting motifs that he explores with confidence. “Only Love” has a straight-eight feel with another well-crafted melody by Wright. His tone is full, with his notes ringing clear, and has just the right amount of pick attack. Singh’s fluidity on the piano is effortless as he digs into the groove provided by Casey and Bishop.
Wright is thoughtful in his writing and on the guitar he can articulate seamless, fiery ideas. He can also express great tenderness. Wright may not be a household name, but he should be. Only Love is worth the exploration.
Rahway Blues; Maddie In New York; Solstice; Chelsea; Inner Motion; Merci Mon Frère; Warrior One; All Shall Rise To Thee; Only Love.