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Artist Profiles

Steve Lacy's Japan Tours: 1975-2004

By Published: February 15, 2006
The format of the two gigs on June 20 and 22 could not be confirmed (it could possibly have been in quintet). And... as most fans know by now, The Wire gave its name to the British music magazine of the same name...!

LP1 : Stalks (Columbia) — LP2 : Solo at Mandara (Alm) — LP3 : Torments (Morgue) — LP4 : The Wire (Denon) — LP/CD5 : Distant Voices (Columbia) class="f-right s-img"> Return to Index...

TOUR 2 - 1979

  • Sept. 13: Sogetsu Kaikan (Tokyo)* Trio * with Nakamura Tatsuya, Daimon Shiro
  • Sept. 14: Far Out (Atsugi)* Solo
  • Sept. 15: Sogetsu Kaikan (Tokyo)* Trio * with Nakamura Tatsuya, Daimon Shiro
  • Sept. 16-17: Zabo (Kyoto)* Solo
  • Sept. 19: Mandara (Tokyo)* Quartet * with Yoshizawa Motoharu, Takagi Mototeru, Kondo Toshinori
  • Sept. 20: [Other session(s) may exist]?

Comments: A very short and unusual tour, featuring two important gigs in Tokyo with drummer Nakamura Tatsuya and dancer Daimon Shiro (in those days the combination jazz improvisation + dance was way out of the ordinary). It is certainly one of the most undocumented: very little is known and available about this second tour. The search is still ongoing for additional information on possible audio tapes, films and photos etc. class="f-right s-img"> Return to Index...

TOUR 3 - 1980

  • Feb. 1: Hiroshima Kenshin Kodo (Hiroshima)* Big Band * w/ Globe Unity Orchestra '80
  • Feb. 2: Kyoto Kaikan (Kyoto)* Big Band * w/ Globe Unity Orchestra '80
  • Feb. 3: Osaka Yomiuri Bunka Hall (Osaka)* Big Band * w / Globe Unity Orchestra '80
  • Feb. 5: Nagoya Shimin Kaikan (Nagoya)* Big Band * w/ Globe Unity Orchestra '80
  • Feb. 6: Kubo Kodo (Tokyo) * Big Band * w/ Globe Unity Orchestra '80
  • Feb. 8: Doshin Hall (Sapporo)* Big Band * w/ Globe Unity Orchestra '80

Comments: Another relatively short tour...While it has been ascertained that the Globe Unity Orchestra toured Japan for 8 days as noted, no recorded output is known, except (most likely) in private recordings... According to our sources, the concert at Kubo Kodo was broadcast by Tokyo-FM; the tunes played were those of the "JAPO albums. Personnel of the GUO consisted of its "regular members at the time (see list below at end of article). class="f-right s-img"> Return to Index...

TOUR 4 - 1981

  • Oct 9: Zojoji Hall (Tokyo)* Trio * with Togashi Masahiko, Kent Carter
  • Oct 12: [Venue unconfirmed] (Hirosaki)* Trio * with Togashi Masahiko, Kent Carter
  • Oct. 15-16: King Records Studio (Tokyo) * Trio - LP/CD6 * with Togashi Masahiko, Kent Carter
  • Oct. 18: Far Out (Atsugi)* Solo
  • Oct. 20: Yokohamashi Kyoiku Bunka Center Hall (Yokohama)* Trio * with Togashi Masahiko, Kent Carter
  • Oct. 21: Catholic Nunoike Church (Nagoya)* Solo, Duo & Quartet * with Inoeu Keizo, Kent Carter, Joe Mizuki
  • Oct. 22-23: King Records Studio (Tokyo) * Duo - LP7 * with Togashi Masahiko
  • Oct. 24: [Other session(s) may exist]?

Comments: The bond initially established in 1975 with Togashi Masahiko (confined to his wheelchair since 1970) got all the more closer with this tour. The two Paddle Wheels LPs are gems (note: Spiritual Moments has been re-issued on CD in Japan in 2004).

Regretfully, it's been impossible so far to identify the venue of Oct 12... For Oct 21, Kent Carter confirmed this: "It was in the catholic church of Nagoya. The man producing and organizing this concert was a Buddhist Priest and the musicians spent the night in his temple. I will never forget this evening fest. Waking in the morning to the sound of the gongs and chants of the monks in the temple, looking out onto rock gardens, the peace was so good I had a flash while preparing to leave, that I would just stay right there. Lacy and I had a laugh on that one, he felt the same ... Oddly, it was their last gig together.
As per local information received, it is nevertheless possible that other sessions may exist on or after October 24 though, to Kent Carter's knowledge/recollection, there was none... The investigation continues...

LP/CD6 : Spiritual Moments (Paddle Wheel) — LP7 : Eternal Duo (Paddle Wheel) class="f-right s-img"> Return to Index...

TOUR 5 - 1983

  • Sept. 1: Zojoji Hall (Tokyo)* Duo * with Togashi Masahiko
  • Sept. 3: Toshogu (Hakodate)* Duo * with Togashi Masahiko
  • Sept. 4: Disk (Aomori)* Solo
  • Sept. 6: Paltia (Niigata)* Duo * with Togashi Masahiko
  • Sept. 8: Avan (Sendai)* Solo
  • Sept. 11: Miyuki Kaikan Hall (Hiroshima)* Duo - CD8 * with Togashi Masahiko
  • Sept. 12-13: Zabo (Kyoto)* Solo
  • Sept. 14: Banana Hall (Osaka) * Duo * with Togashi Masahiko
  • Sept. 17: Far Out (Atsugi)* Solo & Trio * with Toyozumi Yoshisaburo, Midorikawa Keiki

Comments: A kind of "communion tour with Togashi, regretfully all too poorly documented. Only one piece, taken from the Hiroshima concert, was issued in the Italian CD releases of Duet Associates. Togashi himself probably is the best person who could remember details, but due respect of his frail health condition of the last few years does not permit any inquiry... Private recordings / tapes may exist.

CD8a : Duet Associates (Musica Jazz / Felmay) and CD8b : (New Tone) class="f-right s-img"> Return to Index...

TOUR 6 - 1986

  • May 11: Hirosaki Shimin Kaikan (Hirosaki)* Quartet * with Togashi Masahiko, Don Cherry, Dave Holland
  • May 13: Roppongi Pit Inn (Tokyo)* Quartet * with Togashi Masahiko, Don Cherry, Dave Holland
  • May 14: Yubinchokin Kaikan Hall (Tokyo)* Quartet - LP/CD9 * with Togashi Masahiko, Don Cherry, Dave Holland
  • May 18: Aku Aku (Tsukuba)* Quartet * with Togashi Masahiko, Don Cherry, Dave Holland
  • May 20: Ongaku Bunka Kaikan (Niigata)* Quartet * with Togashi Masahiko, Don Cherry, Dave Holland
  • May 21: Mido Kaikan Hall (Osaka)* Quartet * with Togashi Masahiko, Don Cherry, Dave Holland
  • May 22: Space Who (Saitama)* Solo & Duo - LP10 * with Toyozumi Yoshisaburo
  • May 24: Higashi Kumin Bunka Center (Hiroshima)* Solo - LP11
  • May 25: Narciss (Tokyo)* Solo
  • May 26: Sagacho Exhibit Space (Tokyo)* Duo * with Togashi Masahiko

Comments: In the company of Don Cherry and Dave Holland, this is probably Steve Lacy's best "commercially known tour. Several releases (original LP and several CD reissues, partial or complete) of the much celebrated Bura-Bura May 14 session in Tokyo are widely available. It has been established that a full length private videotape of that event exists.

The solo portion of the Concert at Space Who was released on LP (an unauthorized album) pressed at 100 copies only... It is an extremely rare collector's item! (cost: well over $ 1,000 on E-Bay...).
Note: For all album contents, see Steve Lacy's website.

The master tape of the complete Hiroshima concert of May 24 still exists. Though the original producer has no intention of issuing the second part of the concert, we understand he intends to propose the tape to a reliable music company: so Volume one (issued as The Kiss on Lunatic, with its great cover Zenon Vol 86091 by Imamura Yukio, a kind of "Circle in the Square" principle) could possibly be reissued as part of a complete package (2 CDs set).

LP/CD9 : Bura Bura (Presence / Pan Music) — LP10 : Solo at Space Who (Space Who) — LP11 : The Kiss (Lunatic) class="f-right s-img"> Return to Index...

TOUR 7 - 1988

  • June 11: Sonntag (Nagano)* Trio * with Togashi Masahiko, J.J. Avenel
  • June 12: Narciss (Tokyo)* Solo
  • June 14: Tokyo FM Hall (Tokyo)* Trio - CD12 * with Togashi Masahiko, J.J. Avenel
  • June 17: Banana Hall (Osaka)* Trio * with Togashi Masahiko, J.J. Avenel
  • June 20: Jazz in Lovely (Nagoya)* Trio * with Togashi Masahiko, J.J. Avenel
  • June 21: ST Spot (Yokohama)* Duo * with J.J. Avenel
  • June 25: Space Who (Saitama)* Solo & Duo * with Togashi Masahiko
  • June 26: Space Who (Saitama)* Trio * with Togashi Masahiko, J.J. Avenel

Comments: Jean-Jacques Avenel's first Japan tour with Lacy. Two weeks mostly in trio format with Togashi, poet extraordinaire of percussions, with his out of the box time-keeping rhythms and colors: quite an entry point for JJA! Surprisingly, only one single session was released, recorded at the beginning of the tour, and one can only imagine what gem would have come out of a (later) second trio recording... Even Jean-Jacques Avenel could not confirm some of the highlights of this tour, so much was he in a state of shock discovering Togashi.
Special note: the June 21 session is the only one SL + JJA ever played in duo format in Japan...
Private tapes of these concerts must exist for sure, circulating among collectors' circles.

CD12 : Voices (Nec Avenue)



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