Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Whammies - Play the Music of Steve Lacy, Vol. 2 (Diff Records, 2013)

This is the second album that this group has recorded of compositions by the legendary soprano saxophonist and composer Steve Lacy, some of which were previously unrecorded. The group is made up of a worldwide cast of musicians: Jorrit Dijkstra-alto saxopnone and lyricon (an electronic wind instrument), Pandelis Karayorgis on piano, Jeb Bishop on trombone, Mary Oliver on violin and viola, Nate McBride on bass and Han Bennink on drums and was recorded at Firehouse 12, New Haven, in January and March of 2013. These performances are dedicated to artists of different mediums like the opener "Skirts (to Bill de Kooning)" which the group builds to a very interesting textural development. A couple of the hardest hitting performances are those who hit hard and get out fast, like the brief "Lumps (to Samuel Beckett)" and the slinky "Feline (to Marilyn Monroe)." The music of Thelonious Monk was a huge inspiration to Lacy, and to The Whammies as well, playing "Hanky-Panky (to Thelonious Monk)" with a fun and joyous performance, and the ending performance is one of Monk's own, "Shuffle Boil" where they end the music on an exciting and irreverent note. This was a fine album, of interest not only to Lacy fans, but modern jazz fans in general. It goes beyond strictly repertory music into a form all of their own. Play the Music of Steve Lacy, Vol. 2 -

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