[ Editor's Note: This 2005 article was reprinted in memory of Byard Lancaster who died on August 23, 2012. ] From A Love Supreme to The Sex Machine" is reedman Byard Lancaster's personal aesthetic mantra, something that recalls the theme of the Charles Moffett tune Avant-garde Got Soul Too." Free jazz and creative improvisation historically have not often been viewed as the music of the people, but the idea behind the term 'avant-garde' is that it is a paving of the way by a few forces for a large wave of cultural and aesthetic change ...read more
Sounds of Liberation New Horizons Porter Records 2010
In the years following saxophonist John Coltrane's death and the related dearth of opportunities to perform and record the New Music stateside, a significant body of musicians relocated to Europe, to ply their art in a more receptive atmosphere. Reedman Byard Lancaster was one of the second wave of American free jazz musicians to relocate to Paris in the late 1960s, recording and gigging as part of drummer Sunny Murray's Acoustical Swing Unit and leading his own ensembles with musicians like pianist Francois Tusques, conguero Keino ...read more
Sometimes the whole is more than the sum of its parts, and sometimes it is less. The latter is true for this reissue of Live at Macalester College by the Byard Lancaster unit. The music, deftly played and improvised by all the musicians, is avant-garde and free jazz in character during the leader's various horn solos, more traditional soul-jazz when the rhythm section is in the forefront, and has tinges of Afro-Cuban rhythms when the percussion is the dominant voice. Sometimes these disparate styles are overlaid on one another and sometimes they are only apparent during individual solos. This variety ...read more
Originally released in 1968 on the Vortex Label, this eight-track gem was Lancaster's debut as a leader. Lancaster is a very important musical entity and also very unspoken - his work with Sun Ra, Philly Joe Jones, Sunny Murray, Larry Young and Fred Hopkins didn't exactly make him a superstar (he would often perform on Philadelphian street corners). Lancaster, influenced by children's songs, folk music, Beethoven and James Brown, writes, teaches and plays flute, clarinet, alto, tenor and soprano saxophones. Lancaster's new jazz" movement, with the help of Sonny Sharrock on guitar, paved a way through the embrace of rock, ...read more
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