John Wright was born in Louisville, KY., but musically he was a child of Chicagos fertile South Side jazz scene, were his family moved when he was a kid. He played soul piano, not because it was fashionable, but because it was part of his DNA.
Without much formal training, he naturally turned to the kind of music he was familiar with when he began to play himself, and that natural quality made South Side Soulhis first album, devoted entirely to 12-bar bluesa triumph for him, an uncommon musician who could create and sustain moods with the simplest of material. On Nice N Tasty and The Last Amen, also included here, he considerably expanded his own soul vein repertoire with some standards, while on Makin Out tenor saxophonist Eddie Cat-Eye Williams is added to the basic trio format on for a direct, uncluttered, propulsively swinging session. If the influence of Red Garland and Erroll Garner is detectable on his piano, John Wright remains emphatically his own man throughout these persuasively soulful and engaging albums.
01. South Side Soul (Esmond Edwards) 5:00
02. 47th and Calumet (John Wright) 3:54
03. La Salle Street After Hours (Armond G. Jackson) 5:20
04. 63rd and Cottage Groove (John Wright) 4:04
05. 35th Street Blues (John Wright)) 6:59
06. Sin Corner (Armond G. Jackson) 5:28
07. Amen Corner (Wendell Roberts) 5:27
08. Things Are Getting Better (Adderley) 3:45
09. The Very Thought of You (Ray Noble) 6:14
10. Witchcraft (Leigh-Coleman) 5:27
11. Pie Face (John Wright) 5:09
12. You Do It (John Wright) 5:43
13. Darn That Dream (Van Heusen-De Lange) 5:48
14. The Wright Way (John Wright) 4:01
15. Yes I Know (John Wright) 4:23
Total time: 77: 24 min.
01. Makin Out (Wright-Williams) 4:55
02. Like Someone In Love (Burke-Van Heusen) 4:29
03. Back in Jersey (Wright-Williams) 4:12
04. Sparkie (Eddie Williams) 4:35
05. Soul Search (Wright-Williams) 4:31
06. It Could Happen to You (Burke-Van Heusen) 4:17
07. Street (John Wright) 3:12
08. Kitty (John Wright) 7:35
09. Les I Cant (John Wright) 3:36
10. Be My Love (Brodszky-Cahn) 5:55
11. The Last Amen (John Wright) 2:47
12. Stella by Starlight (Washington-Young) 4:20
13. But Beautiful (Burke-Van Heusen) 5:24
14. Deed I Do (Do I Love You) (Hirsch-Rose) 4:04
15. More Than You Know (Youmans-Eliscu-Rose) 4:16
16. Sheba (John Wright) 8:28
CD 1, tracks #1-7 from the album "South Side Soul" (Prestige PR 7190)
CD 1, tracks #8-15 from the album "Nice 'N' Tasty" (Prestige PR 7197)
CD 2, tracks #1-8 from the album "Makin' Out" (Prestige PR 7212)
CD 2, tracks #9-16 from "The Last Amen" (Status ST 8322 / New Jazz NJ-8322)
Personnel on "South Side Soul":
John Wright (p), Wendell Roberts (b), Walter McCants (d).
Recorded at Englewood Cliffs, N.J., August 30, 1960
Personnel on "Nice 'N' Tasty":
John Wright (p), W. Marshall (b), J.C. Heard (d).
Recorded at Englewood Cliffs, N.J., November 8, 1960
Personnel on "Makin' Out":
Eddy Cat-Eye Williams (ts), John Wright (p), Wendell Marshall (b), Roy Brooks (d).
Recorded at Englewood Cliffs, N.J., June 23, 1961
Personnel on "The Last Amen":
John Wright (p), Eugene Taylor (b), Walter McCants (d).
Recorded at Englewood Cliffs, N.J., December 19, 1961
Original recordings supervised by Esmond Edwards
Recording engineer: Rudy Van Gelder
Original photos & design by Esmond Edwards, Don Schlitten & Deanna Cohen
Produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol
Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
-South Side Soul
"John Wright, who is now quite obscure, recorded four albums during 1960-61 that emphasized the souful side of hard bop. In a trio with bassist Wendell Roberts and drummer Walter McCants on his debut session [...] Wright performs seven of his originals, all of which have something to do with Chicago. On titles such as "South Side Soul," "Salle St. After Hours" and "Amen Corner," Wright plays soulfully while swinging."