In 2012, Emanem released Avignon and After Volume 1 which consisted of re-released and previously unreleased tracks from the late great soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy's first solo concerts, at Avignon in 1972, plus previously unreleased tracks recorded live in Berlin in 1974. It was an excellent and valuable addition to the Lacy discography. Teasingly, its sleeve notes hinted that there was still enough unreleased Lacy material for another volume. Now, to confirm that, here is that second volume as promised. In contrast to the first volume's two dates and concert locations, the eleven previously-unreleased tracks here originate from five separate ...read more
Emanem and Steve Lacy have been entwined since the label was born with the release of the saxophonist's LP Solo (1974). The first eight tracks of this CD hold the contents of that album, recorded at two August, 1972 concerts in Avignon--significantly, Lacy's very first solo concerts. Ever since, the label has championed the music of Lacy with several landmark releases. This CD and its companion, The Sun (2012), are prime examples. Together, this pair of albums replaces the 1995 Emanem release, Weal and Woe, repackaging all of the music therein with many previously unreleased tracks.The Avignon tracks--the ...read more
Blinks...Zurich Live 1983 is one of those ageless albums that accentuates the unparalleled synchronicity of iconic soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy's Five, captured live at a 1983 concert in Zurich, Switzerland. Packed with the leader's linear and concise theme constructions, the band reconfigures and rewinds many of the primary melodies amid moments of energized minimalism and lyrical eloquence. Over the course of time, it is perhaps more apparent these days that Lacy and saxophonist Steve Potts were near perfect foils--indeed, a match made in heaven. However the democratic mindset of the band parlays an immensely potent force. The ...read more
Few musicians bestrode the world of the avant-garde like the proverbial Colossus, but Steve Lacy did. He played with the heart of a giant and a soul in which a flame was lit in the '50s, when he began his career playing Dixieland music. By the time he made his presence felt in the avant-garde playing the straight horn, he was in the middle of a forest fire of his own making. So hot was the music he played both in the US as well as in Europe, which became his home for several years between the '60s and the ...read more
As the title suggests, School Days is both ironic--because the ingenuity of these musicians might have actually been the best schooled at the time of the recording--and iconic, as well. The reason? Steve Lacy and Roswell Rudd formed one of the great, seminal repertory ensembles of all time, playing the music of Thelonious Monk and Herbie Nichols. Moreover, this reissue includes two tracks of Monk's group that included Steve Lacy. While the recordings with Monk have been issued previously, on In Philadelphia 1960 with Steve Lacy (RLR, 2006), this Emanem version is better mastered and sets the historic date right. ...read more
Soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy's School Days has had a long and checkered release history. Recorded live in New York in March 1963, it was first issued on vinyl by Emanem in 1975 and later reissued on QED, an Emanem pseudonym. It first appeared on CD on Hat Art in 1994, and again on Hatology in 2003. Now, its CD release on Emanem is cause for celebration for several reasons. Most importantly, it puts this wonderful album back in circulation again, where it should be a permanent fixture. School Days consists entirely of Thelonious Monk compositions. Throughout Lacy's recording ...read more
The world of improvised music lost one of the greats when Steve Lacy ceased walking this earth. His music was as singular as that of anyone who has graced that world, and the fact that he chose to communicate exclusively through the medium of the soprano saxophone had the effect of elevating him to a rare position. All the singularity with which he pursued his muse is here on this his last recorded solo recital from 2003.
Lacy's approach to the straight horn had by this time not so much mellowed as grown more considered, with the weight of experience ...read more
Even without the back story of November, the music of soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy exists on its own merits. Compare this live recording to the two dozen-plus solo sessions by this master, and it stands up to any of them.
Not that Lacy was in his finest form here, having been diagnosed with liver cancer. He was to pass away within six months. Did the audience that November night in Switzerland know of his fate? Maybe. Certainly the music heard suggests an artist thinking about the great beyond.
Lacy's final recording further strips away the man's ...read more
Steve Lacy/Mal WaldronLet's Call This...EsteemSLAM-Silta2010 Steve LacyHall Egg Farm 2000.10.16Suigyu2010 Steve LacyNovemberIntakt2010 Ideal BreadTransmitCuneiform2010 Steve Lacy (1934-2004) held several distinctions in his 50-year career. He, alongside John Coltrane, was responsible for the modern template of soprano saxophone playing. He was one of few musicians whose work is appreciated by both straight-ahead and avant-garde listeners. And he perhaps had ...read more
Soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy's impressive career was filled with many benchmarks, but 1966's The Forest and the Zoo is surely one of his strongest. Having corrected the erroneous phasing on the original release of the album, this reissue sees the two side-long quartet works sounding better than ever.
Playing no small part in the elastic excitement of these excursions is the able work of Lacy's sidemen. Comprised of an international body of musicians including Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava and the South African rhythm section of bassist Johnny Dyani and drummer Louis T. Moholo, the unit brings ...read more
Steve Lacy (soprano saxophone) and Roswell Rudd (trombone) had a long and illustrious musical history together dating back to the 1950s playing in Dixieland ensembles. By the early 1960s, they were committed modernists and formed a quartet devoted (mostly) to the music of Monk; School Days, a 1963 live date released twelve years later on hatOLOGY was the only recorded evidence of this band. In the mid 1970s, they reunited for a set of Lacy originals on Trickles (Black Saint, 1976) and in the late 1990s recorded Monk's Dream (Verve, 2000). While they didn't record together that frequently, they always ...read more
Steve Lacy/Roswell Rudd Quartet Early And Late Cuneiform Records 2007
You're off to a good start when a band is headed by two of the most distinctive musicians ever to grace our music, and this two-disc set proves that in abundance. It proves also that both saxophonist Steve Lacy and trombonist Roswell Rudd had a fascination for the music of Thelonious Monk and Herbie Nichols that lasted for decades. The way in which they managed to keep their interpretations of the material perpetually fresh is a wonder in itself.
The title of this set ...read more
Soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy (1934-2004) and pianist Mal Waldron (1925-2002) worked together in bands from 1958, but coalesced as a duo in 1981, continuing sporadically for two decades. Both expatriates in Europe, At the Bimhius 1982 captures them at the Amsterdam club in December of that year in just-now-released recordings. Although Lacy was associated with some of the leading members of the avant-garde and Waldron played with many hard-bop and modern giants, neither musician can be easily pigeonholed stylistically, as both had highly personal, idiosyncratic approaches. And they were never more personal than when playing in intimate ...read more
One of the greatest front lines in modern jazz, soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy and trombonist Roswell Rudd were a singular force. From their earliest forays in the 1950s, Lacy and Rudd performed together regularly but recorded infrequently. Besides a handful of Black Saint/Soul Note albums from the early 1980s, there are few documents of their many performances together.
Other than Trickles (Black Saint, 1976) and Monk's Dream (Verve, 2000), their vibrant piano-less quartet work remains largely undocumented. The only official record of their original 1960s quartet is the low fidelity live album, School Days (Hatology, 1963). Early and ...read more
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