Sometimes the whole is more than the sum of its parts, and sometimes it is less. The latter is true for this reissue of Live at Macalester College by the Byard Lancaster unit. The music, deftly played and improvised by all the musicians, is avant-garde and free jazz in character during the leader's various horn solos, more traditional soul-jazz when the rhythm section is in the forefront, and has tinges of Afro-Cuban rhythms when the percussion is the dominant voice. Sometimes these disparate styles are overlaid on one another and sometimes they are only apparent during individual solos. This variety keeps the music intriguing and unpredictable through multiple listens, but the failure of these different styles to coalesce leads to a lack of cohesion in the album. Despite the virtuosic musical ideas flowing out of everyone's instrument the recording itself fails to stand as a single multifaceted unit, but instead has the feel of a hodge-podge of different sounds, ideas and styles.
All the musicians on this record are outstanding and it is surprising that they are not better known, but the one who stands out from the group is drummer J.R. Mitchell whose propulsive rhythms push the others to new and unexplored terrains in their soloing, all the while attempting to preserve a unity of sound and space.
This first-time issue CD adds 25 minutes of new material to the LP with impeccable sound quality and a reproduction of the beautiful cover art of the original.
The music on this reissue is consistently intriguing and stimulating, but fails to form a cohesive whole; ending up as a grouping of a variety of ingenious and creative musical ideas.
Track Listing: 1324; Last Summer; War World; Live at Macalester; World in Me; Thought.
Personnel: Byard Lancaster: horns; J. R. Mitchell: percussion; Calvin Hill: bass; Paul Morrison: electric bass; Lester Lumley: conga & percussion; Sid Simmons: piano; Jerome Hunter: bass.
I was first exposed to Jazz when a couple of dear friends of mine turned me onto it around 1971. I was already into Progressive music, R n' B, Soul, Motown, Latin Rock and other styles that were a great ladder to Jazz
I was first exposed to Jazz when a couple of dear friends of mine turned me onto it around 1971. I was already into Progressive music, R n' B, Soul, Motown, Latin Rock and other styles that were a great ladder to Jazz.
Being a Musician myself, (Lead Guitar/Bass Guitar), I studied at the Dick Grove School of Music with Dick Grove, Jeff Richman and Lee Ritenour. This was around '84-'85. I started playing the Guitar in November 1967. Playing Guitar came quite naturally to me thank goodness. Though I spent hours upon hours practicing while my school buddies were doing Sports.
It was in the early '70s that I really got into Jazz, Jazz Rock, Jazz Fusion and World Music. Seeing Weather Report, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Larry Carlton, Steely Dan, John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, RTF, Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters, VSOP, Freddie Hubbard and so many, many more amazing artists opened my eyes to the beauty and eloquent nature of Jazz. I really love the brilliant ensemble playing that is in Jazz!!
When I play and write music, it blends so many style together. Many fans ask me why my playing sounds so jazzy. It's because I understand Blue Notes, the phrasing, the tonality, time signatures and more. I can also play Rock, Folk, Soul, R n' B and other styles too. I seem to gravitate more and more as I get older to a jazzier style. Currently I'm 62 years old. I have released 2 CDs world-wide. Working on my 3rd.
I also teach Guitar/Bass/Music Theory to my students. They range from 6 years old to much, much older. (I was hired by the City of Aurora, CO to teach ages 6-13 specifically). Currently I teach 41 children in 5 classes. Additionally another 7 private students.
My wife, Meesh, and I love Jazz dearly. It was one of the things that we share together!
Most of the people that I know today do not get jazz. I try to explain what to listen for, but many times the music of Jazz is a bit much for them. So be it.
In a nutshell, I live, breath and listen to Music 24/7. No TV except the Food Channel and Weather.
I love John Kelman's articles. They are so insightful and well-constructed!
Thank you all for doing what you do.