Steve Lacy

Steve Lacy

born on 23/7/1934 in New York City, NY, United States

died on 4/6/2004

Links stevelacy.free.fr (English)

Steve Lacy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Steve Lacy (July 23, 1934 – June 4, 2004), born Steven Norman Lackritz in New York City, was a jazz saxophonist and composer recognized as one of the important players of soprano saxophone.[1] Coming to prominence in the 1950s as a progressive dixieland musician, Lacy went on to a long and prolific career. He worked extensively in experimental jazz and to a lesser extent in free improvisation, but Lacy's music was typically melodic and tightly-structured. Lacy also became a highly distinctive composer, with compositions often built out of little more than a single questioning phrase, repeated several times.

The music of Thelonious Monk became a permanent part of Lacy's repertoire after a stint in the pianist's band, with Monk's songs appearing on virtually every Lacy album and concert program; Lacy often partnered with trombonist Roswell Rudd in exploring Monk's work. Beyond Monk, Lacy performed the work of jazz composers such as Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington and Herbie Nichols; unlike many jazz musicians he rarely played standard popular or show tunes.

Early life and career

Lacy began his career at sixteen playing Dixieland music with much older musicians such as Henry "Red" Allen, Pee Wee Russell, George "Pops" Foster and Zutty Singleton and then with Kansas City jazz players like Buck Clayton, Dicky Wells, and Jimmy Rushing. He then became involved with the avant-garde, performing on Jazz Advance (1956), the debut album of Cecil Taylor,[2]:55 and appearing with Taylor's groundbreaking quartet at the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival; he also made a notable appearance on an early Gil Evans album. His most enduring relationship, however, was with the music of Thelonious Monk: he recorded the first album to feature only Monk compositions (Reflections, Prestige, 1958) and briefly played in Monk's band in 1960[3]:241 and later on Monk's Big Band and Quartet in Concert album (Columbia, 1963).

Europe and sextet

Lacy's first visit to Europe came in 1965, with a visit to Copenhagen in the company of Kenny Drew; he went to Italy and formed a quartet with Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava and the South African musicians Johnny Dyani and Louis Moholo (their visit to Buenos Aires is documented on The Forest and the Zoo, ESP, 1967). After a brief return to New York, he returned to Italy, then in 1970 moved to Paris, where he lived until the last two years of his life. He became a widely respected figure on the European jazz scene, though he remained less well known in the U.S.

The core of Lacy's activities from the 1970s to the 1990s was his sextet: his wife, singer/violinist Irene Aebi,[2]:272 soprano/alto saxophonist Steve Potts,[4] pianist Bobby Few, bassist Jean-Jacques Avenel, and drummer Oliver Johnson (later John Betsch). Sometimes this group was scaled up to a large ensemble (e.g. Vespers, Soul Note, 1993, which added Ricky Ford on tenor sax and Tom Varner on French horn), sometimes pared down to a quartet, trio, or even a two-saxophone duo. He played duos with pianist Eric Watson. Lacy also, beginning in the 1970s, became a specialist in solo saxophone; he ranks with Sonny Rollins, Anthony Braxton, Evan Parker, and Lol Coxhill in the development of this demanding form of improvisation.

Lacy was interested in all the arts: the visual arts and poetry in particular became important sources for him. Collaborating with painters and dancers in multimedia projects, he made musical settings of his favourite writers: Robert Creeley, Samuel Beckett, Tom Raworth, Taslima Nasrin, Herman Melville, Brion Gysin and other Beat writers, including settings for the Tao Te Ching and haiku poetry. As Creeley noted in the Poetry Project Newsletter, "There’s no way simply to make clear how particular Steve Lacy was to poets or how much he can now teach them by fact of his own practice and example. No one was ever more generous or perceptive."

Later career

In 1992, he was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship (nicknamed the "genius grant").[5][4]

He also collaborated with a wide range of musicians, from traditional jazz to the avant-garde to contemporary classical music. Outside of his regular sextet, his most regular collaborator was pianist Mal Waldron,[3]:244-245 with whom he recorded a number of duet albums[4] (notably Sempre Amore, a collection of Ellington/Strayhorn material, Soul Note, 1987).

Lacy played his 'farewell concerts to Europe' in Belgium, in duo and solo, for a small but motivated public. This happened in Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Bruge and Bergen. This recollection is published by Naked Music. In Ghent he played with the classical violinist Mikhail Bezverkhni, winner of Queen Elisabeth Concours. He returned to the United States in 2002, where he began teaching at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. One of his last public performances was in front of 25,000 people at the close of a peace rally on Boston Common in March 2003, shortly before the US-led invasion of Iraq.

After Lacy was diagnosed with cancer in August 2003, he continued playing and teaching until weeks before his death on June 4, 2004 at the age of 69.

Discography

As leader

  • Soprano Sax (Prestige, 1957)
  • Reflections (Prestige, 1958)
  • The Straight Horn of Steve Lacy (Candid, 1960)
  • Evidence (New Jazz, 1961)
  • School Days (1963)
  • Disposability (Vik, 1965)
  • Sortie (GTA, 1966)
  • Zvatsha (unissued, 1966)
  • The Forest and the Zoo (1967)
  • Roba (1969)
  • Moon (1969)
  • Epistrophy (1969)
  • Stations (1970)
  • Wordless (1971)
  • Lapis (1971)
  • The Gap (1972)
  • Solo (1972)
  • Live in Lisbon: Estilhacos (1972)
  • Flaps, with Franz Koglmann (1972)
  • The Crust (1973)
  • Scraps (1974)
  • Saxophone Special (1974)
  • Flakes (1974)
  • Lumps (1974)
  • Straws (1975)
  • Dreams (1975)
  • Torments (1975)
  • Stalks (1975)
  • Solo at Mandara (1975)
  • The Wire (1975)
  • Distant Voices (1975)
  • Axieme (1975)
  • Stabs (1975)
  • Opium for Franz, with Bill Dixon (1975)
  • Clangs, with Andrea Centazzo (1976)
  • Trickles (1976)
  • Tao (1976)
  • Sidelines (1977, Improvising Artists)
  • Company, vol. 4, with Derek Bailey (1976)
  • Trio Live (1976)
  • Raps (1977)
  • Follies (1977)
  • Threads (1977, Horo)
  • Clinkers (1977)
  • Stamps (1977)
  • Catch (1977, Horo)
  • The Owl (1977)
  • Shots (1977)
  • Points (1978)
  • The Woe/Crops (1979)
  • The Way (1979)
  • Eronel (1979, Horo)
  • Troubles (1979)
  • Duo: Alter Ego, with Walter Zuber Armstrong (1979)
  • Duo: Call Notes, with Walter Zuber Armstrong (1979)
  • Capers (1981)
  • Tips (1981)
  • Songs (1981), with Brion Gysin
  • Ballets (1982)
  • The Flame (1982)
  • Regeneration, with Roswell Rudd, Misha Mengelberg et al. – (1983)
  • Change of Season, with Misha Mengelberg, Han Bennink et al. – (1984)
  • Blinks (1984)
  • Prospectus (1984)
  • Futurities (1985)
  • Chirps (1985)
  • The Condor (1986)
  • Outings (1986)
  • Hocus-Pocus (1986)
  • Deadline (1987)
  • Only Monk (1987)
  • The Kiss (1987)
  • One Fell Swoop (Silkheart, 1987)
  • The Gleam (Silkheart, 1987)
  • Dutch Masters, with Misha Mengelberg, Han Bennink, George Lewis, Ernst Reijseger (1987)
  • Explorations, with Subroto Roy Chowdury (1987)
  • Live in Budapest, with Steve Potts (1987)
  • The Amiens Concert, with Eric Watson and John Lindberg (1987)
  • Paris Blues, with Gil Evans (Owl, 1987)
  • Momentum (1987)
  • The Window (1988)
  • Image (1989)
  • The Door (1989)
  • Morning Joy (1990)
  • Anthem (1990)
  • Rushes: Ten Songs from Russia (1990)
  • Steve Lacy Solo (1991)
  • More Monk (1991)
  • Flim-Flam (1991)
  • Itinerary (1991)
  • Remains (1992)
  • Live A Sweet Basil (1992)
  • Spirit of Mingus (1992, Freelance)
  • We See (1993)
  • Vespers (1993)
  • Three Blokes, with Evan Parker and Lol Coxhill (1994)
  • The Rendezvous, with Barry Wedgle (1994)
  • Revenue (1995)
  • Packet (1995)
  • Actuality (1995)
  • Bye-Ya (1996, Freelance)
  • Five Facings (1996)
  • Scratching the Seventies/Dreams (1996, Saravah)
  • Associates (1996)
  • Blues for Aida (1996)
  • 5 x Monk 5 x Lacy (1997)
  • Live at Unity Temple (1998)
  • Sands (1998)
  • The Cry (1999)
  • The Rent (1999)
  • The Joan Miró Foundation Concert (1999)
  • Monk's Dream (1999)
  • Snips (2000)
  • Hooky (2000)
  • Best Wishes (2001)
  • Mother Goose, solo@afkikker (2001)
  • The Holy La (2002)
  • 10 of Dukes & 6 Originals (2002)
  • The Beat Suite (2003)
  • Materioso (Monk's Moods) (2003)
  • New Jazz Meeting Baden-Baden 2002 (2004)
  • Farewell concerts to Europe, Blossoms (2004)
  • November (2010)

With Mal Waldron

  • Journey Without End (1971)
  • Mal Waldron with the Steve Lacy Quintet (1972)
  • Hard Talk (1974)
  • One-Upmanship (1977)
  • Moods (1978)
  • Live at Dreher (1981)
  • Snake-Out (1982)
  • Let's Call This (1986)
  • Sempre Amore (1987)
  • The Super Quartet Live at Sweet Basil (1987)
  • Hot House (1991)
  • I Remember Thelonious (1992)
  • Let's Call This... Esteem (1993)
  • Communique (1997)
  • One More Time (2002)
  • Japan Dream (2004)
  • At the Bimhuis 1982 (2006)

As sideman

  • Dick Sutton – Jazz Idiom (1954)
  • Dick Sutton Sextet – Progressive Dixieland (1954)
  • Tom Stewart – Quintet/Sextet (1956)
  • Whitey Mitchell Sextette – Whitey Mitchell Sextette (1956)
  • Joe Puma – Modern Jazz Sampler (1956)
  • Cecil TaylorJazz Advance (1956)
  • Gil EvansGil Evans & Ten (1957)
  • Cecil TaylorAt Newport (1958)
  • Gil EvansGreat Jazz Standards (1959)
  • Miles DavisAt Carnegie Hall (1961)
  • Miles DavisQuiet Nights (1963)
  • Thelonious MonkBig Band and Quartet in Concert (1964)
  • Bobby HackettHello Louis (1964)
  • Gil EvansThe Individualism of Gil Evans (1964)
  • Kenny BurrellGuitar Forms (1965)
  • Jazz Composers Orchestra – Communication (1965)
  • Carla BleyJazz Realities (1966)
  • Giorgio Gaslini – Nuovi Sentimenti (1966)
  • Gary BurtonA Genuine Tong Funeral (1967)
  • Max RoachSounds as a Roach (1968)
  • Giorgio Gaslini – Il Grido: Big Band Live (1968)
  • Giovanni Tommaso – Indefinitive Atmosphere (1969)
  • Giovanni Tommaso – The Healthy Food Band (1970)
  • Alan SilvaSeasons-Stereophonic-Pictures (1970)
  • Giorgio Gaslini & Jean-Luc PontyFabbrica Occupata (1973)
  • Maria MontiIl Bestiario (1974)
  • Globe Unity Special – Evidence, vol.1 (1975)
  • Globe Unity Special – Into the Valley, vol.2 (1975)
  • Roswell RuddBlow-Bone (1976)
  • Area – Maledetti (1976)
  • Area – Event '76 (1976)
  • Company – Company, vol. 5, 6, 7 (1977)
  • Musica Elettronica Viva – United Patchwork (1977)
  • Kenny DavernUnexpected (1978)
  • Gil EvansParabola (Horo, 1979)
  • Laboratorio della Quercia – Laboratorio della Quercia del Tasso (1978)
  • Globe Unity Orchestra – Compositions (1979)
  • Various artists: Amarcord Nino Rota (on "Roma") (1980)
  • Interpretations Of Monk (1981)
  • Tiziana Ghiglioni – Somebody Special (1986)

References

  1. ^ Allmusic biography
  2. ^ a b Wilmer, Val (1977). As Serious as your Life. Quartet. ISBN 0704331640. 
  3. ^ a b Litweiler, John (1984). The Freedom Principle: Jazz after 1958. Da Capo Press. ISBN 9780306803772. 
  4. ^ a b c Fordham, John (10 June 2004). "Steve Lacy". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 January 2017. 
  5. ^ The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. "MacArthur Fellows July 1992". Archived from the original on 2011-01-16. Retrieved 2007-06-02. 

External links

This page was last modified 23.06.2018 22:07:11

This article uses material from the article Steve Lacy from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.