Description by Jack Wright
In Alphabetical order: Some of my influences and people I know (if you are not on this list, consider yourself in)
Jim Baker (musician), Rich Corpolongo (musician), Bob Falesch (musician), Frank Figora (musician), Carol Genetti (vocalist) Allan Koskela (fine artist), Eric Leonardson (musician), Doug Lofstrom (musician), Dave Markson (fine artist), Bob Marsh (musician), Apostol Micheals (fine artist), Hal Russell (musician) Nick Sondy (musician), Duke Stack (fine artist), Sue Wolf (musician), Jack Wright (adventurous reed-man)
Influences and people have known and/or performed with inside the jazz idiom
Robert Barry, Dick Borden, Wilbur Campbell, Pete Castronova, Sam Cohen, Frank Figora, John Fiscone, Mike Gallichio, Harry Hawthorne (my early teacher), Dom Jaconetti, Rusty Jones, Mike Linn, Danny Martin, Terry McCurdy, Al Nutting, Hal Russell, Mickey Simonetta (teacher) and every beautiful drummer I’ve ever listened to especially (The originals) Max Roach, Philly Jo Jones, Kenny Clarke, Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, etc., etc.
Rich Armandi, John Bany, Ron Brown, Skip Crumbe-Bay, Dan DeLorenzo, Al Erich, Clyde Flowers, Leroy Jackson, Don Jones, Thomas Kini, Doug Lofstrom, Ernest Outlaw, Richie Pardo, Derrick Polk, Nick Schnieder, Dan Shapera, Kelly Sill, Ivan Smalley, Boris Smith, Victor Sproles, Mike Staron, Eddie Stemper, Bob Stoltenburg, Bill Terry, Nick Tountas, Bill Yancy and many-many more
Jodie Christian, Willie Coleman, Eddie Baker, Warren Dennis, Bob Dogan, Gene Esposito, Larry Harris, Jack Hubal, Joe Iaco, Eric Kaiser, Stu Katz, Rick Langlois, Larry Luchowski, Larry Novak, Richie Pardo, Bill Petan, Tommy Ponce, Judy Roberts, Peter Saxe, Dave Turner, John Young
Dave Bany, Bob Minchin, Jim Mullerheim, Bobby Roberts, Bill Witz
Jim Cooper, Stu Katz, Carl Leukaufe
Jack Baron, Tommy Bennett, Bob Centano, Haig Chitjian, Rich Corpolongo, Joe Daly, Mike Finerty, Dom Fogia, Joe Friedland, Lin Halliday, Edward Peterson, Tommy Ponce, Ahmad Sahaladeen, Freddie Schwartz, Ira Sullivan
George Bean, Billy Brimfield, Art Davis, Jim Knapp, Brian Lynch, Bobby Ojeda, Russ Phillips, Tommy Ponce, Kevin Quail, Ira Sullivan, Bobby Sutherland, Billy Wiser
Jeannie Lambert, Linda Ponce, Judy Roberts
Influences in experimental film
Jordan Belson, Stan Brakhage, Abigail Child, Bruce Conner, Maya Daren, Ed Emshwiller, Will Hindle, Jonas Mekas, Gunvor Nelson, Robert Nelson, James Whitney and many others.
In the spring I periodically join Carl Spright (a physicist and drummer) at his drum circle in Oak Park during the annual farmers market. The drummers follow my lead. In a sense, I take on a role of temporary tribal elder. I do not inflate my ego with this dynamic, but plainly, I am the most experienced drummer in the tribe. Because I swing the time, the other drummers entrain with what I lay down. When they start to entrain they can move out of their intentional drumming and find the pocket of flow. People passing by are infected by this. They dance, clap their hands, smile or take pictures of us. Carl provides a blanket for children to sit on, he also provides tiny drums and idiophones for the children to play with. Drums are greatly under-rated in the west, their power to unite is incredible. If congress and world leaders would entrain with drums, stop talking, stop selling, and learn to groove, well . . . that is only one of my hopeful, but obviously impossible fantasies to save the planet from human intention.
As you might know, I walk in the morning. Most of the time I go to the YMCA to walk on the second floor track that makes a loop around the pool below on the east side and the gymnasium below on the west side. In the summer, when school lets out, groups of children are involved in YMCA youth programs. This is a good thing for the children, but not so good for a geezer like myself. This morning I stopped to check out the scene. I poked my head in the door just long enough to realize that I didn’t need to enter. One or two screaming kids are tolerable, but not hoards of the little fun lovers. I did an about face, got into the car and drove to Commons Park in North Riverside.
On most summer days Commons Park is the place to be with its two lovely ponds, ducks with hatch-lings, geese and a Blue Heron who fishes in the ponds every year. The air is fresh and it is perfect for walking. Today I looked around and could not see the Blue Heron anywhere. I wondered about that, but went for my first lap, which, according to the FitBit, is about 0.75 miles. On my second lap I spotted the Heron. He was on the railing of the little bridge. What a majestic critter! However, to his left is a playground and it was full of screaming kids. The Bird watched one of the boys chasing ducks around, and I swear, that Blue Heron, just like me at the Y, knew better than to stick around. He took off and flew out of sight. I don’t know if there is a moral to this story, but somewhere around my 4th lap I met up with a guy who I had said hello to a few times last year. But he didn’t have his dog with him. He always walked his dog in the park even though the sign says No Dogs. His dog, a Border Collie, was really well behaved. I asked him. Where’s your dog? He looked at me and gulped, he could hardly get the word out, “gone.” He had a tear in his eye and looked away. I just said, sorry. Maybe I should have kept my trap shut.
Going back through nature footage I shot a long time ago with a Bolex 16mm film camera. Film to video transfer via telecine. Silent footage.
This one has been off-line for a while. A rhythmically edited piece made with a camcorder and a VCR.
There is a road in Northern Minnesota called Gunflint Road. One can actually get to a place where the sounds of cars and trucks and airplanes disappear. It is an experience that I also had right after 911 when all air flight was grounded. It does not last for long. Standing still, just listening, after a few minutes there will be another car or truck on Gunflint, but the temporary lack of human traffic, no dogs barking, and only trees, birds, wind and insects is a shock.