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Ideal Bread — Transmit: Vol. 2 of the Music of Steve Lacy
(Cuneiform Rune 296, 2010, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2011-06-01
Fans of Steve Lacy will adore this – a reverential treatment of seven Lacy compositions from various periods in his career, interpreted by players who have a high level of skill playing in the composer’s style. These players have a strong feel for the rhythmic imperatives of the music as well as its melodic ones, and they can go from whisper to screed. The bass player is recorded very nicely, and we get a good seat close to him in the mix to check out his prowess and tone. Missing here is any soprano saxophone playing, the instrument that Steve Lacy helped to bring into prominence in jazz. In its place, we get fabulous, full-range baritone saxophone playing from leader Josh Sinton, and Kirk Knuffke’s trumpet, which darts deftly through the superb rhythm section of Reuben Radding on bass and Tomas Fujiwara on drums. The playing is consistently atmospheric and expressive. “The Dumps” has a great vocal section with the same rebellious spirit of the Gone Orchestra and Sun Ra, then a great bebop head. This piano-less quartet has plenty of harmonic room to ramble across the session. From the bright melodies and some more straightforward solo sections, the group careens into Albert Ayler zone to devastating effect. Fans of John Lurie’s Lounge Lizards, the weirdest aspects of Miles’s 60s quintets should be sure to hear this one.
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