Reissuing the first release on the Ictus Records label run by percussionist Andrea Centazzo, this 1976 album was the culmination of two weeks of touring through Italy with saxophonist Steve Lacy, presented as a set of improvised free duets investigating timbral relationships, the fragmentation of melody, and abrasive, provocative noise.
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Catalog ID: ICTUSRE 001LP
Squidco Product Code: 31343
Recorded live at Casarsa, in Udine, Italy, on February 20th, 1976, by Leonardo Venturini. Originally released in 1976 as a vinyl LP on the Ictus label with catalog code ICTUS RECORDS 0001.
Steve Lacy-soprano saxophone, bird calls, pocket synth
Andrea Centazzo-drums set, gongs, percussion
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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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• Show Bio for Andrea Centazzo
"In an artistic career that spans over twentyfive years, Andrea Centazzo has given more than 1000 concerts and live performances in Europe and the United States, as well as having appeared and performed on numerous radio and television broadcasts. He has recorded over 60 LP's and CD's, and has authored 350 compositions and eight musicology books. His musical endeavors and creative expression range from the sublime to the passionate, from lyric opera to orchestral symphony and solo percussion. He has performed in momentous festivals as soloist of his own compositions or as conductor of symphonic orchestras. Centazzo is a pioneer of contemporary percussion. In the early years, he performed with some of the greatest avant-garde soloists and composers, including J. Zorn, S. Bussotti, S. Lacy, D. Cherry, A. Mangellsdorf, E. Parker, etc. Deservedly, Centazzo has received a number of prestigious music and video Awards (Premio Speciale della Critica Discografica Italiana, USA Downbeat Poll, International Video Festival Tokyo, Prix Arcanal of French Culture, etc.) A doctoral graduate in musicology, he has taught seminars and workshops in Europe and the USA. Since 1983, Centazzo has been dedicated to creating multi-media experiences. This expansion began with an exhibition of his scores rendered as painted ideograms, and evolved into video performances combining both live performance with video images. These efforts culminated in his directing award-winning videos and films. As a soundtrack composer, he unites traditional instrumentation with current technological advances in musical expression through sampling machines and computers. These efforts give a new perspective to the fusion of sound and image through his theatre, television, video, CD rom, and feature film scores. The music of A.C. captures and expresses the rhythm and pulse of life by synthesizing the mystery of Oriental percussive vibrations with the timbral harmonic understanding of contemporary music and the soul of jazz and rock post-culture. A.C. continues to contribute his unique artistic vision to the evolution of contemporary culture."-Andrea Centazzo Website (http://andreacentazzo.com/bio.html)
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1. The Duck 06:29
2. Torments 08:16
3. Tracks (Part One) 03:54
1. Tracks (Part Two) 05:19
2. Dome 06:45
3. The New Moon 06:20
sample the album:
"Ictus Records' reissue initiative fittingly begins with Clangs, the first LP issued by the label in 1976. Featuring Steve Lacy on soprano saxophone, bird calls, and pocket synthesizer (or "crack box"), with Andrea Centazzo on drums, percussion, whistle, and vocals, the album is the culmination of a couple of weeks that the two artists spent together while Lacy was touring Italy during that year.
Clangs encounters Lacy -- one of the giants of American free jazz -- already two decades into a career defined by brilliant collaborations with Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, and Thelonious Monk, as well as a sprawling body of visionary work as a leader. Like so much of his work leading into this period, it draws upon the saxophonist's belief that an artist should "play what you feel", a position that Centazzo -- roughly 15 years Lacy's junior -- recalls as having torn down the curtain that separated his technique from his creativity.
Comprising a series of duets that investigate timbral relationships, the fragmentation of melody, and abrasive, provocative noise -- shifting from the sparse, airy, and restrained, to dance clusters of interplay and back again -- Clangs, for all its radicalism and forward-thinking gestures, rests firmly within the historic structures of jazz, deploying the idiom of theme/solo/theme. Lacy's playing is at the top of his form -- fluttering and dancing with a primal touch -- met by Centazzo's rattle and pattern of percussive interventions, the notes and polyrhythms of each respective player being the product of careful listening, response, and raising the bar. Edition of 250."-Ictus
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