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Steve Lacy


Steve Lacy is a unique voice in jazz, whose deceptively simple improvisations reveal a thorough knowledge of the music's history as well as a deliberate, meditative lyricism. Much of his work has been inspired by Thelonious Monk, whose music he interprets often and with great originality and insight. The Monk influence comes through loud and clear on his latest work, which finds him fronting his old and familiar trio of bassist Jean-Jacques Avenel and drummer Oliver Johnson. The startling yet simple melodies are inflected with Bop, the blues, and traditional jazz but seem to expand exponentially as they leap up in fourths, implying a different tonal center with each unfolding note. Likewise, his improvisations start out in well-traveled Bop phrases before departing to cover unexpected territory. Meanwhile, the trio plays with the comfort that can only come from a long, fruitful musical relationship. It's a joy to hear.
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