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Let's Call This... Esteem

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Album Review

Steve Lacy and Mal Waldron have performed together so many times that it's easy to take them for granted. But that would be a mistake. Every one of their duos is filled with surprises and roads taken to curious and unsuspected destinations. This recording is no different. While it features the Monk charts for which the duo is noted, it highlights Ellington's "In a Sentimental Mood" and Strayhorn's "Johnny Come Lately," in addition to a few originals. Performed live in concert in Oxford, this generous, well-recorded set captures Waldron and Lacy in a very strong performance, one in which they stretch admirably. While this one differs only minutely from some of the other collaborations between these two outstanding musicians, the rewards are plentiful, and both the novice and experienced listener will thrill to the nuanced excitement.


Born: July 23, 1934 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

One of the great soprano saxophonists of all time (ranking up there with Sidney Bechet and John Coltrane), Steve Lacy's career was fascinating to watch develop. He originally doubled on clarinet and soprano (dropping the former by the mid-'50s), inspired by Bechet, and played Dixieland in New York with Rex Stewart, Cecil Scott, Red Allen, and other older musicians during 1952-1955. He debuted on record in a modernized Dixieland format with Dick Sutton in 1954. However, Lacy soon jumped over several...
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