Wednesday, June 09, 2004

R.I.P. - STEVE LACY

Wow, what a week for music deaths this has been. Lacy may not be a name bandied about so readily by the hipsters, but he is one who should be. A veteran of the US/European jazz avant-garde for 50 years, his discography is as long as both your arms and then some. Along with Ornette, Ayler, Pharoah Sanders and Cecil Taylor, he was one of the prime movers of free jazz in the '60s, though it's probably his haphazard and often hard-to-find output that's put him off the map with many potential listeners. Nevertheless, there's a good dozen Lacy albums I could recommend off the bat, but for now I say go out today and purchase yourself some of his LPs on BYG, EMANEM, FMP and HatHut, pronto! His late '60s European blowouts are incredible, any disc of Monk covers is usually good, and his late '70s quintet work remain among my fave jazz albums. Sad to see him go.

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