Saturday, June 8, 2013

Steve Lacy Quartet - Sporano Sax

Although the soprano saxophone is in the news again since its adoption by John Coltrane, it should not be forgotten that Steve Lacy was playing the instrument in the post-Charlie Parker idiom some years ago. This LP was made in 1957 at a time when Steve was perhaps the only soprano saxist in jazz whose work did not show the effect of Sidney Bechet. He brought himself forcibly to my notice with his work on the "Gil Evans Plus Ten" LP (Esquire), and if his playing here is a little less impressive, this is only because he is working in the context of a quartet rather than with a medium-sized band. He has succeeded in breaking away from the piping sound and wide, fast vibrato which one normally associates with the instrument, yet his work is quite different in concept from that of Coltrane. His choice and interpretation of Thelonious Monk's seldom-played Work is of interest and it is unfortunate that Esquire seem unable to issue his later LP, made up entirely of Monk material. Little Girl is a catchy calypso melody, included in honour of the two quartet members who were born in WW.I.
Steve Lacy may not be one of the most important jazz soloists, but he must be given credit for breaking new ground. This LP is certainly worth hearing if only for that reason.
A.M. [Gramophone, February 1962]

Source :

Steve Lacy
Soprano Sax


1 Day Dream (Ellington, Strayhorn) 4:24
2 Alone Together (Dietz, Schwartz) 6:47
3 Work (Monk) 5:26
4 Rockin' in Rhythm (Carney, Ellington, Mills) 4:08
5 Little Girl Your Daddy Is Calling You (unknow) 4:34
6 Easy to Love (Porter) 8:23

Steve Lacy - ss
Wynton Kelly - p
Buell Neidlinger - b
Dennis Charles - dr

Recorded in Hackensack, New Jersey ; November 1, 1957


neil said...

"Steve Lacy may not be one of the most important jazz soloists, but he must be given credit for breaking new ground. This LP is certainly worth hearing if only for that reason."
A.M. [Gramophone, February 1962]

Ah, Mel, little did they know that in the year of this review, 1962, Marilyn Monroe would die, but that Steve Lacy's career would flourish for decades to come...

jazzfriend said...

Un bellisimo álbum, de un Grán Saxofonista Soprano, un verdadero innovador de este instrumento.

Gracias Mel!!!

Saludos desde Chile.

duck said...

Thanks again Mel

ABE said...

Thank You very much

Scoredaddy said...

thanks, Mel, as usual

Sivad said...

Thank you

Peter said...

neil seized on the obvious point to comment on ...

To be fair, Lacy would produce more convincing, less diffident albums than some of the work here ("Work" in particular is a pretty half-hearted version) ... it's still good listening for the most part.

And on the other hand, if one were reliant on the often desultory opinions of too many jazz commentators over the years, the sort of "critic" who passes off a risibly glib, self-important, highly subjective verdict as if it were an authoritative judgment delivered from an assumed lofty perch of omniscience (I include Gitler, Keepnews, sometimes even Hentoff), one might get a very skewed idea of what good music is.

Melanchthon said...

Baron said...

Thank you Mel

jose arboleda said...

Muchas gracias.

Prof. Yaffle said...

Thank you

Ананасий Непитин said...

great album. thanks a lot Mel!
i have heard it once long ago, but it was released on UK vinyl and carrying another name.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dear M, Steve Lacy's work deserves recognition, whenever you feel like it. Thanks so much for your incredible, incerdible work.