Standout local jazz players rally for one of their own, Scotty Wright.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Last June, while jazz pianist/singer Scotty Wright was performing in Tokyo, he suffered a stroke that left the entire left side of his body and face paralyzed.
After spending nearly four months in various hospitals, the jazz veteran has been working diligently to recommence his career. He’s racked up a reputable resume already: His first album, Too Much Fun!, was listed as one of the best jazz albums of the year in USA Today and the New York Daily News; DownBeat Magazine, meanwhile, describes Wright as a “talent deserving wider recognition.” More importantly, Wright has also gained the adoration and respect of just about every jazz musician in our area. To show their loyalty, everyone from pianist Eddie Mendenhall and drummer David Moorwood to singer Lee Durley and sax man Stu Reynolds will rally around Wright on Sunday afternoon at the Hyatt to help raise money – there will be raffles, merchandise for sale and a donation box – for their friend’s recovery.
“The Monterey jazz community is something very special because we’re so supportive of each other,” Reynolds says.
Wright has one of those voices that can easily demand the attention of an entire room full of people.
On his “When Love Comes This Easy,” he blends Memphis soul with a tinge of Muddy Waters’ Chicago blues, resulting in a solid sunburst of sound.
“He has one of those voices that’s spicy, warm, soulful and delicious,” Reynolds says. “But the one thing that really stands out about Scotty as a musician is his heart is so much bigger than his ego.”
In addition to the aforementioned musicians, Reynolds’ quartet Aporia – featuring Julie Capili on vocals, Heath Proskin on bass and Billy Jones on drums – will perform with Along Came Betty.
Reynolds says Wright is now able to walk with the aid of cane and his voice is back to form. The musician may even perform some of his original material at the event.
Reynolds extends an open invitation to all local musicians who want to come share their sound and support.
SCOTTY WRIGHT BENEFIT CONCERT happens 2pm Sunday, Feb. 26, at the Hyatt Regency Monterey, 1 Old Golf Course Rd., Monterey. Donations accepted. 899-7901.