261

Steve Lacy: November

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Steve Lacy: November Even without the back story of November, the music of soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy exists on its own merits. Compare this live recording to the two dozen-plus solo sessions by this master, and it stands up to any of them.

Not that Lacy was in his finest form here, having been diagnosed with liver cancer. He was to pass away within six months. Did the audience that November night in Switzerland know of his fate? Maybe. Certainly the music heard suggests an artist thinking about the great beyond.

Lacy's final recording further strips away the man's neurons and dendrite. He bares raw emotion, coaxing (sometime out of breath) notes with his renowned élan. In the 1960s, he bridged classical jazz with the avant-garde, and he did it with his funny sounding straight horn. Before John Coltrane began performing with the soprano, Lacy was an advocate the horn. His unique voice and love of the music of Thelonious Monk carved out a niche for his voice.

That voice, so recognizable, is heard here—a little more splintery but with full expression. He opens with the sanguine "The Crust," playing with a kind of "stiff upper lip" positiveness, his notes keeping the tent up. Later he pauses, during "Tina's Tune," to sing the words, "If I must die/Let it be autumn/Ere the dew is dry," by the Japanese writer Ozaki Koyo; his breathless song a clue to the program.

Not to be dire, Lacy immediately slugs on with the stellar "The Door," a platform for extended technique and insider blue, finally turning to his old friend Monk and ending the set with "Reflections." The familiar tune, played simply and without adornment resolves the long and storied career of perhaps the finest jazz soprano saxophonist ever.


Track Listing: The Crust; Moms; Tinas Tune; The Door; Blues For Aida; The Hoot; The New Duck; The Rent; The Wammies; Reflections.

Personnel: Steve Lacy: soprano saxophone.

Title: November | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Intakt Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 27, 2017
Read The Late Trane CD/LP/Track Review The Late Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Bright Moments" CD/LP/Track Review Bright Moments
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: April 19, 2017
Read "Pulsation" CD/LP/Track Review Pulsation
by Nicola Negri
Published: August 1, 2016
Read "Ubuntu" CD/LP/Track Review Ubuntu
by James Nadal
Published: September 8, 2016
Read "Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute" CD/LP/Track Review Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 13, 2016
Read "Unification" CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 21, 2017

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.