283

Byard Lancaster: It's Not Up to Us

By

Sign in to view read count
Byard Lancaster: It's Not Up to Us 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

More Articles

Read Honey And Salt CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2017
Read To the Bone CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Flesh & Bone CD/LP/Track Review Flesh & Bone
by Troy Collins
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Generations CD/LP/Track Review Generations
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 22, 2017
Read 90 Going On Amazing CD/LP/Track Review 90 Going On Amazing
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter CD/LP/Track Review Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 21, 2017
Read "The Evolution Suite" CD/LP/Track Review The Evolution Suite
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 4, 2016
Read "Noumenon" CD/LP/Track Review Noumenon
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "A Wing Dissolved In Light" CD/LP/Track Review A Wing Dissolved In Light
by John Sharpe
Published: July 29, 2017
Read "Crop Circles" CD/LP/Track Review Crop Circles
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "Day By Day" CD/LP/Track Review Day By Day
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: January 16, 2017
Read "Sedimental You" CD/LP/Track Review Sedimental You
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 21, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.