Nobody's playing hooky here – as Steve Lacy's very strongly in attendance, and turning out some wonderful solo work throughout! This sparkling 70s performance was captured live in a cathedral in Montreal – a wonderfully echoey space that only seems to open up Lacy's sound even more – allowing for fluid lines from the soprano sax that bounce out and around the large open space – not really folding back on themselves, but creating a depth that seems to give the record even more soul than other Lacy experiments of this type! The whole thing's great – and titles include "Crops", "The New Duck", and "No Baby". And the CD adds in loads of bonus tracks added to the original Quark LP – 9 more numbers, making for one heck of a long album! CD
A massive meeting of vibes and percussion – and easily one of the best albums we've ever heard from Karl Berger! The proceedings here are very open and improvised, yet also have a rhythmic pulse too – that quality you'd definitely expect from Blackwell, which brings in structure even amidst freedom – keeping things strongly on course as the pair really experiment with a wide range of tones and colors! In addition to his usual vibes (played here without any electric fans to widen the sound), Berger also makes some mighty nice use of the balafon – using the African instrument with some great rootsy tones. Blackwell's a master on the conventional drum kit, as always – and also adds in a bit of osi drum too – and the tracks are nice and long, with titles that include "Steps", "Balafon Samba", "South Of Imperial", "We Are", "Wood & Skin Works", and "Just Play". CD
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Steve Lacy —
Sun ... CD Emanem (UK), 1967/1968/1973. New Copy ....
A huge amount of music – in a set that features a wealth of vintage work from Steve Lacy – some of it issued here for the first time ever! Lacy plays soprano sax on all tracks in the set – and the package has him working with some key European players – including an early formation of the group that would become his dominant structure by the end of the decade. The first three tracks are presented here for the first time ever – material recorded in 1968 with Enrico Rava on trumpet, Karl Berger on vibes, Aldo Romano on drums, and Kent Carter on bass – a lineup that's every bit as wonderful as you might expect – especially the trumpet and vibes! Titles from this session include "The Sun" and "The Way". Next is 1968 Rome recordings that originally appeared on a Roratorio album – material that features Irene Aebi on voice on two titles, plus electronics from Richard Teitelbaum – an artist we're normally used to hearing with Anthony Braxton – on titles that include two takes of "The Way", plus two improvisations. Next is group material from a 1973 session in Zurich, which originally appeared on the Quark label – "The Woe – The Wax", "The Wage", "The Wane", and "The Wake" – performed with Steve Potts on alto, Kent Carter on bass, Irene Aebi on cello, and Oliver Johnson on drums. The set features one more previously unissued number recorded in 1967 – "Chinese Food", another improvisation with electronics from Teitelbaum and voice from Irene Aebi. CD