An expanded version of this rare album from Philly reedman Byard
Lancaster – one that features bonus tracks from recent years! The "Then" part of the album is the album Personal Testimony from 1979 – a wonderfully lyrical and aptly-titled solo set by Lancaster! We typically associate solo sets with AACM members, and Lancaster's free jazz and loft community credentials put him in a similar camp – though he's working in a different mode than you might hear on a solo set from a player like Joseph Jarman or Roscoe Mitchell. Overall, the compositions and playing work along more structured and grooving lines than a fully improvised set – never losing sight of melodic emphasis, or the earthy underlying rhythms – and Lancaster makes some especially nice use of overdubbing on a couple of pieces. He plays piano on one number, but the rest of the set explores all of the various reeds he's known for – alto, flute, piccolo, bass clarinet, and soprano sax. Titles include "Miss Nikki", "In Lovingkindness", "Dogtown", "Hoodoo", "Brotherman", "What A Friend We Have In Jesus", "Marianne & Alicia", "Brian", and "Mind Exercise". CD then features 6 more tracks recorded in 2008 in a similar solo mode, showing that Byard
hasn't lost any sense of his genius over the years – and can still express himself in a wonderfully spiritual way. Titles include "Prayer Cry", "Tribalize Lancaster", "Afroville", "Free Mumia", and "Global Key".
(Barcode has some marker.)