253

Steve Lacy Quintet: Esteem

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Steve Lacy Quintet: Esteem Anyone who demands state of the art sound quality needn't read any further. This music was originally captured on a cassette by the late Steve Lacy himself and comes from his own archive, as maintained by his wife, Irene Aebi. Audio restoration hasn't resulted in state of the art reproduction, but when the music is as singular and as vibrantly alive as it is here, the issue is irrelevant.

The band is essentially the same one as Lacy maintained throughout the last decades of his life, and the gig was played at La Cour Des Miracles in Paris in February of 1975. It finds a band coming to terms with a programme of music that was destined to become a significant part of its working life, but even at this unit's stage in its career, it's clear that Lacy had assembled a band that was equal to the demands of his music. The title track is an indication of just how singular that music could be. Percussionist Kenneth Tyler establishes an indeterminate pulse over which first Lacy, who it must be said is poorly served by the balance throughout, then Steve Potts on alto sax espouse their cause.

"The Uh Uh Uh" features a theme every bit as idiosyncratic as anything from the pen of either Thelonious Monk or Herbie Nichols—and indeed, close listening reveals the debt Lacy owed to those two. At the same time he was engaged in ploughing the kind of furrow that only the most single-minded of artists can maintain. Again it finds Potts in incendiary form over a bed of strings that seems to assume a life of its own.

"Flakes," which finds both Lacy and Potts on soprano sax, is an example of just how tight the band was becoming, and Aebi's playing avoids the cliches of just about every other violinist in the music, with the possible exception of Ramsey Ameen's work with Cecil Taylor.

So it's kind of nice to know this music is out there by way of counter to all the clinical, overproduced stuff on the market. Of course it would be inherently risky to assert that such audio shortcomings actually enhance the music, especially when this stuff is so vibrant and spontaneous.


Track Listing: The Crust; The Uh Uh Uh; The Rush; Esteem; Flakes; The Duck.

Personnel: Steve Lacy: soprano sax; Steve Potts: alto and soprano sax; Irene Aebi: cello, violin; Kent Carter: bass; Kenneth Tyler: percussion.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Atavistic Worldwide | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "The Expanding Universe" CD/LP/Track Review The Expanding Universe
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 8, 2016
Read "Heritage" CD/LP/Track Review Heritage
by James Nadal
Published: October 3, 2016
Read "Risc" CD/LP/Track Review Risc
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 29, 2016
Read "Arclight" CD/LP/Track Review Arclight
by Doug Collette
Published: March 5, 2016
Read "The Picasso Zone" CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 24, 2017
Read "Beginning of A Memory" CD/LP/Track Review Beginning of A Memory
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 15, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!