This Silkheart release has one of the finest all-around recordings by Steve Lacy's Sextet. The leader, a longtime master of the soprano sax, is joined by the underrated altoist Steve Potts (who doubles on soprano), pianist Bobby Few, bassist Jean-Jacques Avenel, drummer Oliver Johnson, and Irene Aebi on vocals and violin. Aebi's singing, which is always an acquired taste, is as accessible as it ever was on the joyful "Gay Paree Bop"; all five compositions are Lacy originals. Overall, this set gives listeners a particularly strong example of the work of the innovative Steve Lacy Sextet.
Gombert’s compositions are all vocal, some of which are for ensembles of up to twelve parts. His contrapuntal language is based on that of Josquin, but taken to the next level of complexity. Gombert’s vocal textures are often densely packed and the individual lines are characterised by an avoidance of rests. A substantial number of Gombert’s compositions survive, including ten masses, over 160 motets, 60 secular chansons, and a set of eight Magnificats (one in each mode). The motets on this recording, for 4–6 voices, are all fine representations of Gombert’s musical style.
This double-CD reissues the nine numbers from a former double LP, adding three previously unreleased tunes from the same Switzerland concert. The Steve Lacy Five (the leader on soprano, Steve Potts on alto and soprano, Irene Aebi on cello, violin and vocals, bassist Kent Carter and drummer Oliver Johnson) is at its best on scalar-based instrumentals such as the near-classic "Blinks." Some tunes utilize the voices of Aebi and Lacy, and these are often quite eccentric and for more selective tastes. But the many strong solos by Lacy and the highly underrated altoist Potts makes this two-fer of interest for followers of advanced jazz. This was always a well-organized and highly original group.
The equality, the almost perfect balance in complement and contrast, of the musical collaboration between Steve Lacy and Mal Waldron was palpable in both its internal and external workings … These four CDs, captured live in Paris in 1981, are notable as the first documentation of their performances as a duo, a particularly felicitous exploration of common interests and uncommon talents, initiating an intermittent series of duo recordings that would span thirteen years, varying repertoire, and several labels, but never venture far from the groundwork that was established here.
Considered the first modern soprano saxophonist, Steve Lacy propelled the instrument from classic Dixieland romps to the cutting edge of avant-garde jazz and back again. This import exclusive remastered reissue features two rare 1956 sessions of Steve Lacy during the early stages of his legendary career. The release also features such fine musicians as Herbie Mann, Don Stratton, Joe Puma, Dave McKenna and Osie Johnson.
This gives a good picture of Lacy's range in the 1970s. Solos, some very stretched out ensemble work, some of the best Aebi I've heard. There's even a snippet of Lacy playing Satie––if you visit the Satie Museum in Honfleur you'll heard a beauteous solo of his, and he played Satie in a few European concerts, recordings of which exist and should be issued. The three-CD box set that makes up Scratching the Seventies/Dreams represents Steve Lacy's first expatriate records in Paris beginning with sessions in June of 1969 and concluding in 1977 with six of the seven members of the Steve Lacy Septet (pianist Bobby Few was not yet on board). Here, five complete albums tell the story of that decade in the musical aesthetic of Steve Lacy's development as an artist as well as a composer and bandleader.