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Album Review

This is only the second recorded collaboration between guitarist Derek Bailey and soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy, and while the rarity of the event adds to the thrill, there is little question of the outstanding results produced on this particular occasion. As critic Jon Morgan points out in the liner notes, Lacy and Bailey embrace different concepts of improvisation, yet neither sacrifices any of his individuality to meet the other on common ground. There is little of the conversational quality so often found when musical giants play in tandem. Instead, the five pieces reflect two performers in peak form, each of whom displays his abilities to the fullest. Lacy has rarely sounded better, taking full advantage of the freedom of Bailey's electric guitar. While you are not likely to hear an ounce of familiarity in Bailey's contribution (he always seems sui generis), the guitarist continues to amaze with his independence and originality. Anyone even modestly interested in either Lacy or Bailey will wish to hear this one.


Born: 23 July 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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