Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Listening: a little bit of Lacy

As a soprano saxophonist, Steve Lacy is very much on my radar. This goes back years before I even owned a soprano and as much as I love his work, I feel it had little to do with me moving on to focus on the soprano (consciously at least). Lacy is a player that all saxophonist and jazz fans need to check out. He is a fairly regular part of my listening habits and at times I binge on his playing. This past week there's been a bit of Lacy bouncing around the apartment.

"Work" (Sketch 2002) Lacy with Anthony Cox (b) Daniel Humair (d) This trio seems to have only recorded together once - shortly before Lacy returned to the U.S following his decades based in France. Tunes are provided by each of the trio plus Mal Waldron, Louis Sclavis, and Thelonious Monk. There's a little bit of overdubbing from Lacy - two soprano's on 'Acrylic' and soprano and voice on 'Tina's Tune' - it's kept to a minimum. The trio sounds great together. Approval from my wife - "Who is this? I like it."

"Avignon and After Vol.1" (Emanem 2012) Comprised from a couple of solo concerts from the 1972 & 74.   Lacy is playing at the more 'out' end of the spectrum but lyricism remains part of the sound. A master of solo performance.

The disc is a combination of reissued tracks and nine previously unreleased tracks. The new tracks include the five pieces from 1974 that make up "Clangs" and four pieces from the 72 concert that was previously issued as "Weal and Woe." Unfortunately 'The Woe' (an anti-war suite) part is missing from this latest reissue. The ups and downs of reissues!

Aside from "Reflections" and "Evidence" some of the first Lacy I heard was solo - live in concert and friends of mine had "Weal & Woe" and "Hooky.

"Sempre Amore" (Soul Note 1986) Duo's with pianist Mal Waldron. Melodic playing on a program of lesser known Ellington & Strayhorn tunes. Waldron & Lacy were great collaborators with a long history together (Waldron was part of Lacy's 2nd album as a leader 'Reflections' back in 1958).

Check out Senators website for a bunch of info on Steve Lacy.

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