Anson Wright : Only Love Review
Anson Wright is a guitarist, composer, novelist, poet, and educator. In addition to his musical career, Wright is an acclaimed novelist with three books being published. Author Anaïs Nin praised the prose in his novel, Jericho: “I liked the bottom of the sea level of your writing. Don’t worry about discipline or guidance.” The National Endowment for the Arts provided the funding for his second book, Openings. Anson’s first full-length poetry book, Sandstone Monastery, was released in 2004. Poems from Sandstone Monastery were set to music by guitarist John Stowell in the 2008 spoken-word CD, The Sky At Our Feet. Wright is now releasing his third album, Only Love, which features a quartet performing seven of his original compositions and two compositions by Weber Iago (aka Jasnam Daya Singh). Wright is joined by Jasnam Daya Singh -piano, Brian Casey -bass, and Todd Scott Bishop -drums.
“Rahway Blues” is a Wright original that has a catchy melody taken through the blues form. Singh’s fills between the phrasing of the melody are interesting and propel the tune. The interlude between the theme and solo is a nice touch. Wright takes a chorus; his playing is precise and swinging. Casey’s bass solo is in the pocket. Wright takes the second solo; his lines outline the changes as he navigates the blues form. Singh’s solo is spot on. A terrific opening selection with great playing by all.
“Warrior One” is another Wright original. Set to a relaxed modern swing feel, the melody is flowing, and the harmonic progression is open, allowing all the players to stretch out and explore the changes. Wright takes his time during his solo, building his lines with purpose and direction. Wright’s compositions have many twists and turns that give the form moments of surprise, and the entire shape of the form flows. The quartet all speak the same language and feed off each other nicely.
Only Love is a strong outing for this multi-talented guitar player. He is gifted in writing music and literature, which gives his music a unique flow and focus. With a bright acoustic guitar sound and an ear for melodies, Wright is on his way to being a favorite for the guitarist. Only Love will please any jazz fan, and the guitarist certainly wants to check this one out and listen deep.
December 4, 2019