A great run of music from Jimmy Lyons – some of his most important albums as a leader! First up is Wee Sneezawee – the kind of work that makes you love the Black Saint
label for giving players like Jimmy Lyons a chance to still express themselves this way! Lyons is in wonderful form throughout – blowing with all the sharp tones that you'd know from his work with Cecil Taylor, but also bringing in a bit more structure too – kind of shaping a coherent sound out of an infinite array of possible actions – any of which seem possible at any moment, given the dynamic energy of the group! Other players include William Parker on bass, Paul Murphy on drums, Karen Borca on bassoon, and Raphe Malik on trumpet – and tracks include "Wee Sneezawee", "Gossip", "Shackinback", "Remembrance", and "Driads". On Give It Up, Jimmy Lyons is wonderful, but equally great is trumpeter Enrico Rava – whose bold tones on the record easily match those of Lyons in terms of energy and inventiveness! The format is relatively free – although some tunes have a bit of an inside swing, at least more so than Lyons' work with Cecil Taylor – and other players include Karen Borca on bassoon, Jay Oliver on bass, and Paul Murphy on drums. Titles include the long workouts "Methods", "Never", and "Give It Up" – plus the shorter tune "Ballada". Burnt Offering features great duets between Jimmy Lyons on alto and Andrew Cyrille on percussion – and titles include "Popp A", "Exotique", and "Burnt Offering". Nuba is a compelling collaboration between percussionist Andrew Cyrille, vocalist Jeanne Lee, and alto saxophonist Jimmy Lyons – one of the freer sessions on the Black Saint
label, and one of the most striking as well! Cyrille handles a wide range of percussion – and also a few whistles too – and he really sets the tone with his open, expressive approach to his instruments – almost more melodic at points than rhythmic, with echoes of African roots that come through more strongly than on some of his other albums. Most numbers are pretty spare, and titles include "Nuba 1", "Cornbread Picnic (Maize)", "The One Before Zero", "JJ & A", "In These Last Days", "Sorry", and "Nuba 2". Something In Return is another set of duets between Lyns and Andrew Cyrille! While working in Cecil Taylor's group, Cyrille and Lyons developed a wonderful interplay and dynamic, which can be felt in full effect on this wonderful duo recording, where they approach mostly original material, but also take on Strayhorn's "Take The A Train". Also includes the title track "Lorry", "JL", "Nuba" and "Fragments I".