Leo Wright: Blues Shout
Joined by pianist Junior Mance, trumpeter Richard Williams, bassist Art Davis, and drummer Charlie Persip, Wright divides his attention between his signature alto sax and flute, delivering a series of thoughtful and lyrical solos that positively radiate energy. The blues referenced in the title are more a feeling than a sound, underscoring the emotional intensity that bristles below the surface of every note. Jason Ankeny /AMG
“Blues Shout” – Leo Wright (as); Richard Williams (tp); Junior Mance (p); Art Davis (b); Charlie Persip (dr)
Review: by John M. Crossett March 2017
Music: 4 Stars / Sound: 4 Stars
Most, if not all, jazz fans will recognize the name of Leo Wright. He played on many vital jazz albums as a sideman for the bulk of his career – always busy, always in demand due to his unerring sense of playing just the right phrase or note at just the right time. But Wright also had the chance to lead his own sessions beginning with this one in 1960. Here, Wright uses players who also spent the majority of their careers outside the spotlight, like Wright, as sidemen on other musicians’ albums, like pianist Junior Mance, bassist Art Davis, drummer Charlie Persip, and front line helpmates Harry Lookofsky on violin and Richard Williams on trumpet (on sides one and two respectively).
I should hand it to Atlantic Records, they seemed to be more willing than many labels to give lesser lights a chance to shine, and do so in the best sound possible. And kudos to Pure Pleasure for finding and recognizing that this album is fully deserving of proper reissue. No, “Blues Shout” won’t be the first jazz album you reach for, but it will (or should) certainly become one you listen to often, both for is wonderful musicality as well as it excellent sound. I know I’m glad I got the chance to hear it. Most highly recommended.
2. Angel Eyes
3. Autumn Leaves
4. Indian Summer
1. Blues Shout
2. Night In Tunisia
3. The Wind
4. Two Moods
Personnel: On Side A is: Leo Wright, flute / Harry Lookofsky, violin / Junior Mance, piano / Art Davis, bass / Charlie Persip, drums.
On Side B is:Leo Wright, alto saxophone / Richard Williams, trumpet / Junior Mance, piano / Art Davis, bass / Charlie Persip, drums.
The arrangements for Sigi, Autumn leaves & Two Moods are by Leo Wright. All other arrangements are by Gigi Gryce
Recording Engineer: Tom Dowd & Phil Iehle
Supervised by Nesuhi Ertegun
Recording: August 1960 by Tom Dowd & Phil Iehle
Production: Nesuhi Ertegu