One night at the Paris Sunset Club by saxophonist Steve Lacy's Quartet with Steve Potts on sax, Jean-Jacques Avenel on bass and Oliver Johnson on drums, performing an exuberant mix of Lacy originals and Thelonious Monk tunes, remastered & expanded for Hat's 40th Anniversary.
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Catalog ID: Hatology701
Squidco Product Code: 19725
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Recorded live at the Sunset Club, Paris, France on February 19, 1986 by Radio France.
Steve Lacy-soprano saxophone
Steve Potts, alto saxophone, soprano saxophone
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1. Epistrophy 9:22
2. Prospectus 7:43
3. Wickets 16:10
4. Morning Joy 10:25
5. Work 7:38
6. In Walked Bud 11:42
7. As Usual 13:12
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
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"Reissue as part of the 40th anniversary of Hat Hut Records. What we have here is a one-nighter by the Steve Lacy Quartet at Paris' Sunset Club...The four members of the quartet get a chance to stretch out and you can feel the club energy clearly in the recording - it's a good night at the Sunset...in this era of homogenization - of jazz players who are filled with technique but have gotten their sound from textbooks - there is not enough attention that can be focused on an uncompromising jazz individual like Steve Lacy. Morning Joy is yet another distinguished addition to a substantial and important body of work."-Lee Jeske
"This limited edition reissue adds one extra track to the original release, a poignant version of Thelonious Monk's "Work." Otherwise, it is the same glorious set of pieces (with remastered sound) performed live in the mid-'80s by one of Steve Lacy's sterling working groups. The quartet is hot, and the two-horn front line is in perfect synchronization. As Lee Jeske enthusiastically notes in his liners, the session "burns," with the extroverted Steve Potts easily distinguishable from his more exacting, precision-oriented alter ego. The choice of tunes is fairly typical for Lacy -- a few Monk compositions mixed with Lacy originals. Lacy is well-known for his interpretations of Monk, and it is not hard to hear why. He plays each piece deliberately, broadening its scope and infusing it with new meaning. There are near-perfect versions of several tunes, including the rousing Lacy original, "Prospectus." This recording may be a good antidote for those who think of Lacy's music as too reserved or intellectual: It swings with visceral energy. The selection of notes seems virtually perfect, too, and Oliver Johnson and Jean-Jacques Avenal, while overshadowed by the horns, are wonderful in support. Morning Joy may not break any new ground, but it should provide considerable listening pleasure, both for those already familiar with the miraculous world of Steve Lacy and for those who are entering it for the first time."-Steve Loewy, All Music
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• Show Bio for Steve Lacy
"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. 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.
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,: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 1960:241 and later on Monk's Big Band and Quartet in Concert album (Columbia, 1963).
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,:272 soprano/alto saxophonist Steve Potts, 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."
In 1992, he was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship (nicknamed the "genius grant").
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,:244-245 with whom he recorded a number of duet albums (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."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Lacy)
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