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© 2002-2018, Squidco LLC


Lyons, Jimmy: The Box Set (Ayler)

Jan Strom, whose devotion to Lyons previously resulted in a 120-page sessionography, has strategically selected material that amounts to five previously unreleased discs of solo and small-group sessions with alto saxophonist Jimmy Lyons, covering a broad range of dates and groups, each in enough detail to stand on its own, along with a fact-packed 60-page booklet.
 

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product information:


UPC: 7320470037300

Label: Ayler
Catalog ID: aylCD-036 - 040
Squidco Product Code: 4074

Format: 5 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2004
Country: Sweden
Packaging: Box Set

Personnel:

Jimmy Lyons-alto sax

Karen Borca-bassoon

Hayes Burnett-bass

Henry Letcher-drums

Raphe Malik-trumpet

Paul Murphy-drums

William Parker-bass

Sidney Smart-drums

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Artist Biographies:

"Jimmy Lyons (December 1, 1931 May 19, 1986) was an alto saxophone player. He is best known for his long tenure in the Cecil Taylor Unit. Lyons was the only constant member of the band from the mid-1960s until his death in 1986. Taylor never worked with another musician as frequently as he did with Lyons. Lyons' playing, influenced by Charlie Parker, kept Taylor's avant-garde music tethered to the jazz tradition.

Lyons was born in Jersey City, New Jersey and raised there until the age of 9, when his mother moved the family to Harlem and then the Bronx. He obtained his first saxophone in the mid-1940s and took lessons from Buster Bailey.

After high school, Lyons was drafted into the United States Army and spent 21 months on infantry duty in Korea. He then spent a year playing in army bands. Once discharged he attended New York University. By the end of the 1950s, Lyons was supporting his interest in music by working for the United States Postal Service.

In 1961, Lyons followed Archie Shepp into the saxophone role in the Cecil Taylor Unit. His post-Parker sound and strong melodic sense became a defining part of the sound of that group, from the 1962 Cafe Montmartre sessions onwards.

During the 1970s Lyons also ran his own ensemble, with bassoonist Karen Borca and percussionist Paul Murphy. They often performed in the loft jazz movement around Studio Rivbea. Lyons' group and Cecil Taylor Unit continued a parallel development throughour the 1970s and 1980s, often involving the same musicians, including trumpeter Raphe Malik, bassist William Parker and percussionist Murphy.

In 1976, Lyons performed in a production of Adrienne Kennedy's A Rat's Mass directed by Cecil Taylor at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club in the East Village of Manhattan. Musicians Rashid Bakr, Andy Bey, Karen Borca, David S. Ware, and Raphe Malik also performed in the production. Taylor's production combined the original script with a chorus of orchestrated voices used as instruments.

Lyons died from lung cancer in 1986 at the age of 54. He didn't publish many recordings with his own ensemble, though Ayler Records did release a 5-CD box set of recordings from 1972 to 1985."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Lyons)
12/12/2018

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Karen Borca (born September 5, 1948, Green Bay, Wisconsin, United States) is an American avant-garde jazz and free jazz bassoonist.

Borca studied music at the University of Wisconsin with John Barrows and Arthur Weisberg, graduating in 1971. While there she met Cecil Taylor, who taught there during the 1970/71 academic year; she studied with him and played in his big bands, ensembles and the Cecil Taylor Unit, and was his assistant at Antioch College, Ohio, in the Black Music Program. She was an assistant to saxophonist Jimmy Lyons in 1974 during his artist in residence at Bennington College, Vermont and married the longtime Taylor sideman; she played in Lyons's band for 12 years until he died in 1986. She performed with her own bands at the Newport Jazz Festival New York City Salute to Women in Jazz, '78 and '79, Soundscape, Vision Festival, Jazz Fest Berlin and other festivals, concerts, clubs and lofts.

She has performed with her own bands in New York City, the U.S. ,and Europe, with musicians such as Cecil Taylor, William Parker, Bill Dixon, Butch Morris, Marco Eneidi, Joel Futterman, Sonny Simmons, Alan Silva, and Jackson Krall."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karen_Borca)
12/12/2018

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"William Parker is a bassist, improviser, composer, writer, and educator from New York City, heralded by The Village Voice as, "the most consistently brilliant free jazz bassist of all time."

In addition to recording over 150 albums, he has published six books and taught and mentored hundreds of young musicians and artists.

Parker's current bands include the Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra, In Order to Survive, Raining on the Moon, Stan's Hat Flapping in the Wind, and the Cosmic Mountain Quartet with Hamid Drake, Kidd Jordan, and Cooper-Moore. Throughout his career he has performed with Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Milford Graves, and David S. Ware, among others."

-William Parker Website (http://www.williamparker.net/)
12/12/2018

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:


1. 36. Jimmy Lyons Quartet Studio Rivbea, NYC, September, 1972 75:34

2. 37. Jimmy Lyons Trio Studio Rivbea, NYC,June 30, 1975 78:42

3. 38. Jimmy Lyons Trio Studio Rivbea, NYC,June 30, 1975 13:36



Jimmy Lyons solo Soundscape, NYC,

April 9, 1981 65:00



39. Jimmy Lyons Trio Geneva, Switzerland, May 12, 1984 55:23



Jimmy Lyons Interview NYC, July 27, 1978 11:41



40. Jimmy Lyons Quartet Tufts Uni. Medford, MA Feb. 12, 1985 75:50
sample the album:


descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Cecil Taylor's pianistics are so spectacular, and so daunting, that it's surprising he ever spent much time in small groups with horns. Indeed, since the late '80s, he hasn't. But from 1961 to 1985 Taylor's groups featured alto saxophonist Jimmy Lyons, often with a trumpet or tenor saxophonist in addition. After Lyons fell ill and died in 1986 at age 54, Taylor tried replacing him, but soon backed off to a trio, solos, and one-shots with Europe's top avant-gardists. Even though Lyons recorded a handful of albums under his own name, the few people who know of him know him through Taylor. The relationship between the two has been compared to Hodges and Ellington, or Desmond and Brubeck, but it is inevitably more difficult to untangle.

Anyone who has wondered what Lyons brought to the party will be helped out immensely by The Box Set, a small, unfancy package crammed with five previously unreleased discs of solo and small-group Lyons, doubling what was heretofore available, and a fact-p acked 60-page booklet. Jan Ström, whose devotion to Lyons previously resulted in a 120-page sessionography, has strategically selected the material to cover a broad range of dates and groups, each in enough detail to stand on its own.

The logical way to approach the box is from the middle out. Start with the 11-minute interview that fills out disc four, to get an introduction to the man, particularly his propensity for seeing composition and improvisation as the same thing. Then go to disc three for his solo concert: sounds a lot like practice, as he strings together breath-length thoughts, twisting and turning around each other, like a painter laying out his palette. The pace is methodical, easy to follow, but on disc two he adds bass and drums and gets his back up. He starts with a 25-minute run, structurally like his solo exercise, but blisteringly fast. After he lets the bassist play a little, he finishes furiously, then does it all again. Lyons is sometimes characterized as the guy who brought Charlie Parker into the avant-garde. But this disc shows that the essential lesson Lyons took from Parker was to keep pushing harder and faster.

The fourth disc features another trio, but with bassoonist Karen Borca replacing the bassist, giving him two lead instruments plus drums. Nearly as fast, the contrast in tones and the trading of lines are dazzling. The fifth disc also features Borca, but the interaction is a bit less intense, perhaps because added bassist William Parker stands out, or perhaps because in 1985 time was running out for Lyons. After all, the freshest, most pleasurable disc is the first one, recorded in 1972, with Raphe Malik's bright trumpet sparring with Lyons. One thing you notice in all three of these discs is that Lyons often feeds the others his best lines. Malik and Borca have never sounded so confident as in his company. And while it would be a stretch to say the same about Taylor, Lyons's selflessness may have been the secret of the Cecil Taylor Unit's success.

Without naming anyone, Taylor once said, "It's rare to find musicians who are loyal and protect you and give you space to be yourself. You learn to value them highly and to give them the same space they give you." The Box Set was specially designed for Cecil Taylor fans who care about that space."-Tom Hull, Village Voice

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Improvised Music
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Box Sets
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