Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

283

Byard Lancaster: It's Not Up to Us

By

Sign in to view read count
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, folk and classical during the '70s. Like his business card says: "From Love Supreme to Sex Machine" - Lancaster can do it all.

Leading off, on the album's title track, where Lancaster makes good use of the flute, but more impressive is the underlying syncopation of drums and congas. On "Last Summer," the flute remains Lancaster's instrument of choice, and the guitar, bass and drums fly free. Erroll Garner's "Misty" gets a good revamping, followed by Sharrock's "John's Children" - he viewed himself as a spiritual heir to John Coltrane - which proves to be the standout track on this album. "John's Children" has a very sincere, spiritually elevated feeling to it, with moments of thunderous exaltation and a consistency of steadfast expression. All the power of a revival meeting in just six minutes.

"Mr. A.A." and "Dogtown" are two Lancaster originals, both with an English folk tone and impressive drumming by Eric Gravatt. Ending the album is the nine-minute "Satan", showcasing Sharrock's advanced strumming and technical ability.


Track Listing: 1. It's Not Up to Us (Lancaster) - 4:53 2. Last Summer (Lancaster) - 3:25 3. Misty (Burke/Garner) - 5:06 4. John's Children (Sharrock) - 6:12 5. Mr. A. A. (Lancaster) - 4:18 6. Dogtown (Lancaster) - 4:09 7. Over the Rainbow (Arlen/Harburg) - 4:35 8. Satan (Hunter/Lancaster/Sharrock) - 9:03

Personnel: Byard Lancaster - flute, alto sax; Sonny Sharrock - guitar; Eric Gravatt - drums; Jerome Hunter - bass; Kenny Speller - conga.

Title: It's Not Up to Us | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Vortex-Water Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Bulería Brooklyniana Album Reviews
Bulería Brooklyniana
By Dan Bilawsky
January 23, 2019
Read At The Hill Of James Magee Album Reviews
At The Hill Of James Magee
By Mark Corroto
January 23, 2019
Read Stomping Off From Greenwood Album Reviews
Stomping Off From Greenwood
By Mike Jurkovic
January 23, 2019
Read Live: The Rites of Spring Festival 2018 Album Reviews
Live: The Rites of Spring Festival 2018
By Roger Weisman
January 23, 2019
Read Runner in the Rain Album Reviews
Runner in the Rain
By Jack Bowers
January 22, 2019
Read Driftglass Album Reviews
Driftglass
By Chris May
January 22, 2019
Read Pure Magic Album Reviews
Pure Magic
By Mark Sullivan
January 22, 2019