221

Steve Lacy: Snips

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Steve Lacy: Snips Saxophonist Steve Lacy made his first American solo appearance in March, 1976. He chose to play at John Fischer's Environ, one of several "loft performing spaces" which prospered in New York at the time. Fortunately for listeners in the 21st century, Jim Eigo was there with a cassette recorder. The sound quality of the 2-disc set which resulted, Snips, is less than optimal—but the performance itself was a major landmark, and the recording remains a beautiful document of the era.

Lacy, of course, is one of the major exponents of the solo saxophone. His playing experiments with tone and form, relying upon subtlety of expression rather than virtuosic note flurries. His humor shines through in pieces like "the new york duck," which toys with squeaking and squawking noises—transporting the listener to avian events at the water's edge. (Fans of John Zorn might pay notice: Zorn's Classic Guide To Strategy builds upon this construct using saxophone mouthpieces and duck calls.) Lacy's development of thematic groups in the "outline" and "tao" suites marks their first appearance on record. In these spontaneous compositions, Lacy presents simple themes, repeating them several times, then proceeds to deconstruct them using the full range of sounds available to his instrument.

Snips is not a recording for the casual listener. One must pay attention and get involved in the music to fully appreciate it. Lacy's focus on visual and conceptual cues frequently reflects itself in the music. Occasional vocal snippets supply a strange counterpoint to his saxophone utterances (my favorite example of his voice inserts, from "hooky," is the repeated outburst "Don't go to school!"). Even the closing track pursues its bold, intense direction by gradual evolution of a simple theme. Nothing obvious here, but plenty to absorb if you're willing to make the effort. And for Lacy fans, this historical landmark is a must-listen.


Track Listing: CD1: hooky; the new york duck; the 4 edges: outline (air), underline (fire), coastline (water), deadline (earth); snips. CD2: pearl street; tao: (a) existence; (b) the way; (c) bone; (d) name; (e) the breath; (f) life on its way; revolutionary suicide.

Personnel: Steve Lacy, soprano saxophone.

| Record Label: Jazz Magnet Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Smooth Shake" CD/LP/Track Review Smooth Shake
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Invisible Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Hand
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 12, 2017
Read "Nakedonia" CD/LP/Track Review Nakedonia
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: August 25, 2016
Read "Sunrain" CD/LP/Track Review Sunrain
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 3, 2016
Read "The Invariant" CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 17, 2017
Read "The Digging" CD/LP/Track Review The Digging
by Budd Kopman
Published: July 31, 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!