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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Lacy: Avignon and After Volume 2

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Lacy: Avignon and After - 1

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Lacy Five: Blinks...Zurich Live 1983

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Lacy Five: Blinks...Zurich Live 1983

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Lacy: School Days

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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. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Lacy: School Days

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Lacy: November

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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 ...



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