Steve Lacy: The Sun and Avignon and After


Album review
Steve Lacy: The Sun and Avignon and After

Steve Lacy

The Sun and Avignon and After, Vol.1

Label: Emanem
Media: CD
Genre: Jazz

The UK-based Emanem label has gathered recordings from 1969-74 by soprano saxophonist supreme Steve Lacy, from various group and solo sessions, on two well organized CDs of exceedingly generous length (74 and 79 minutes). Some of the performances are previously unreleased while others appeared only on long-unavailable LPs. On The Sun, several tracks feature vocals by Lacy’s wife, Irene Aebi, whose relatively straight singing in “The Way” is gorgeous, but who relies mostly on a semi-recitative delivery reminiscent of Schoenberg’s Sprechstimme for two politically-oriented pieces which draw texts from Buckminster Fuller and Lao-Tzu. Equally challenging is “The Woe,” an anti-Vietnam suite of mostly instrumental music that is anything-but- easy listening, especially the first half. Solo soprano sax performances make up a fair chunk of the Lacy discography, and it all started with some concerts in Avignon in 1972. Highlights from these shows are packaged here with another suite that was performed solo in Berlin in 1974. The 17 selections cover an amazing amount of territory, as our protagonist evokes everything from Dixieland to free jazz to aleatoric music. Avignon and After provides an excellent introduction to this rewarding aspect of Lacy’s world and work. 

More Info

  • primary artist, Steve Lacy
  • CD

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