247

Steve Lacy - Roswell Rudd Quartet: Early and Late

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Steve Lacy - Roswell Rudd Quartet: Early and Late 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 Late augments these few historical milestones with expertly recorded live performances from 1999 and 2002, and previously unreleased archival studio sessions from 1962.

The live cuts feature the duo joined by Lacy's regular touring trio of bassist Jean-Jacques Avenel and drummer John Betsch. Expansive pieces conveyed with the casual camaraderie of a freewheeling jam session, the quartet members take extended, unhurried solos. Rudd plays comic relief to Lacy's straight man, buzzing, slurring and growling with ribald spontaneity. Lacy's geometrically abstract phrasing is methodical, but always lyrical. His understated, breathy tone is a perfect complement to Rudd's gruff snarl and groan.

Original School Days quartet bassist Bob Cunningham and drummer Dennis Charles are featured on four demo tunes drawn from a recently discovered 1962 session. The only known studio recordings of this seminal line-up, these selections offer a concise snapshot of the quartet's burgeoning mastery with limber, swinging brevity.

The conceptual thread that flows through all the pieces, regardless of their vintage, is Lacy and Rudd's abiding love for the music of Thelonious Monk. One of his most loyal advocates, Lacy played briefly with Monk in 1960, subsequently recording entire albums of the pianist's compositions throughout his career. Rounded out by a few Lacy and Rudd originals and a rare, early Cecil Taylor composition, the tunes all embody a quirky melodic sensibility, beguiling but slightly skewed; much like Monk's own unique aesthetic.

Early and Late provides an invaluable window into a forty-year collaborative process that ranks among the greatest achievements in modern jazz.

Visit Steve Lacy and Roswell Rudd on the web.

Track Listing: CD1: The Rent; The Bath; The Hoot; Blinks; Light Blue; Bookioni. CD2: Bamako; Twelve Bars; Bone; Eronel (take 2); Tune 2; Think Of One; Eronel (take 3).

Personnel: Steve Lacy: soprano saxophone; Roswell Rudd: trombone; Jean-Jacques Avenel: bass (CD1, CD2#1-3); John Betsch: drums (CD1, CD2#1-3); Bob Cunningham: bass (CD2#4-7); Dennis Charles: drums (CD2#4-7).

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Cuneiform Records | Style: Modern Jazz


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read Numbers CD/LP/Track Review Numbers
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 30, 2017
Read The Busker CD/LP/Track Review The Busker
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 30, 2017
Read Pathways CD/LP/Track Review Pathways
by Jerome Wilson
Published: May 30, 2017
Read Copenhagen Live 1964 CD/LP/Track Review Copenhagen Live 1964
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 30, 2017
Read This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People CD/LP/Track Review This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: May 29, 2017
Read The Colours Suite CD/LP/Track Review The Colours Suite
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 29, 2017
Read "Waller" CD/LP/Track Review Waller
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 14, 2017
Read "Cuts" CD/LP/Track Review Cuts
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 5, 2016
Read "Where the Blue Begins" CD/LP/Track Review Where the Blue Begins
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 7, 2017
Read "Lionsong" CD/LP/Track Review Lionsong
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 21, 2016
Read "Truth, Liberty & Soul Live in New York: The Complete NPR Jazz Alive! Recording" CD/LP/Track Review Truth, Liberty & Soul Live in New York: The Complete...
by John Kelman
Published: May 20, 2017
Read "Argonautica" CD/LP/Track Review Argonautica
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 8, 2016

Enhance Your AAJ Experience

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!