Steve Lacy Trio
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Influenced by Sidney Bechet, soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy quickly moved from Dixieland (1952) to free jazz (with Cecil Taylor in 1955). In 1960 he worked with Thelonious Monk, whose oddly rhythmic “Shuffle Boil” opens this intriguing CD. Long a resident of France, where this was recorded six years ago, the protean Lacy is one of the few masters of this difficult-to-play instrument and has continued to explore and expand the scope of his music. In an interview last year he said, “Everything I do is organic. …It has to do also with other arts.” For example, Robert Creely’s poem “Inside My Head” gets a reading by Lacy’s wife, Irene Aebi, whose stentorian approach takes a bit of getting used to. Not for the faint of heart, this CD—whose title refers to the pitch “we all tune to”—will reward the adventurous listener. Sunnyside has also reissued (under its Owl label) Paris Blues, a 1987 recording Lacy made with Gil Evans with whom he undertakes measured explorations of the tunes, three of them by Charles Mingus.