29 August 2011

Steve Lacy Quintet - Live in Cremona '78

A concert of surreal beauty (like much music by Lacy) with a wonderful
(and very long) version of "Existence" from the Tao Suite.

Rec. live at "Teatro Ponchielli", Cremona, Italy,
on May 2, 1978 (mics recording)

Steve Lacy,soprano sax
Steve Potts,alto & soprano sax
Irene Aebi,vocal,cello & violin
Kent Carter,bass
Oliver Johnson,drums

1. Stamps (06:55)
2. Follies (14:34)
3. Troubles (09:39)
4. Lesson (13:39)
5. Ducks (16:58)
6. Tao Suite : Existence/The Way/Bone/Name/The Breath/Life On Its Way (56:05)
7. The Dumps [encore] (05:32)

Total Time 2:03:25

excerpt from Existence


riccardo said...

mp3 (271 MB)

flac (732 MB) part1 part2

Anonymous said...

grazie molte riccardo per i tuoi fantastici post. hai per caso qualcosa di ornette coleman live periodo 76/80 e della julius hemphill jah band? grazie ancora marco

sotise said...

thank you Riccardo , much appreciated!..i'll post some Lacy here soon

Andy said...

Hi. Big thanks on behalf of Zbo.

marten512 said...

I'm listening to it now, 'grazie molte riccardo' indeed!

bozo the clown said...

This era of Lacy is phenomenally rich. Thank you very much.

bozo the clown said...

Irene Aebi is tremendously under-rated as a string-player. She added a fantastic level of imagination and colour to the groups sound.

john said...

very many thanks; looking forward to this one!

Frédito said...

Grazie mille, Riccardo. Looking forward !
I'm with Bozo the clown on Irene Aebi (as a string player and as a vocalist too, she touches me much, adding another twist, quelque chose de spécial, to many Lacy's records). Somebody special...

E S said...

In my opinion (and the opinion of many - dare I say the vast majority of those who played with Lacy), Irene Aebi ruined many a Lacy recording.

At the end of Steve Lacy and Oliver Johnson's musical relationship - Oliver being THE paragon of absolute honesty
(to the point that it finally killed him)
he refused to accompany Irene Aebi's solos because he thought that they were total bullshit.

Because Oliver was so essential to Lacy's music at that time (Lacy's Elvin) - this went on for quite awhile before Lacy finally had to fire him(circa 1989). (I wonder if he thought about firing/divorcing his wife instead ?)


I understand why there are fans of Irene's on this site. They also the same people that think that the world's greatest poseur>Michel Porthole is worth listening to.

'Nuff said

Da fools !

ANYWAY DESPITE the presence of Ducks Aebi on this recording it is still worth checking out because the connection between Oliver and Steve Lacy was magnetic (and volcanic…)

I'm still looking for the recording from this epoch where Lacy, Oliver and K Carter play in trio and also with Steve Potts on a few cuts -
(and no Ducks !)
They do The Mooche, a tune dedicated to Milt Jackson and THE AMAZING trio tune. POINTS, I think is the name of the recording. Only available in vinyl from what I have been able to find. Is there a ripped version out there somewhere?
Music that is easily the equal in value to Sam River's groups(Sam & Dave ?) from the same era.

We miss you O.J.

riccardo said...

"Oliver Johnson joined our quintet in '73 (in Paris), when we were performing our Vietnam war protest melodrama. He was the only drummer in Paris capable of playing this difficult piece. He stayed with us (quintet, trio, quartet, sextet, octet, big-band) for the next 16 years, and participated in all the various projects from the 70's and 80's (Score, The 4 Edges, Brion Gysin Song book, Futurities). He also did all our tours from those years in the USA, Canada, Japan, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Sweden, Holland, etc. I have played with so many of the great drummers of all schools (Zutty Singleton, Kenny Clarke, Jo Jones, George Wettling, Max Roach, Art Blakey, Dennis Charles, Billy Higgins, Sonny Greer, Ed Blackwell, Philly Joe Jones, Jimmy Crawford,etc.) but I have never played with anyone better than Oliver Johnson. He had all the qualities: taste, swing, color, nuance, dance ability, time, dynamics, structural sense, and he always knew what, and when, and where to play, so as to enhance what the rest of us were doing. We will always remember and miss him." Steve Lacy (Paris, April 10, 2002).

Bozo tne Clown said...

Bozo the clown is quite upset that his innocent remarks praising an aspect of Irene's wonderful musicianship should engender such hate-filled nonsense.Why don't we get into other controversial areaas like Derek Bailey's musings, CT's poetry and grunting,singing sax players in general or specific, etc. Why does the subject of Aebi always generate such hate? Don't listen if you don't like it,simple as that!

kinabalu said...

Michel Porthole (Portal, I take it?) is a poseur? Never occurred to me, but one does learn something new every day ...

Brakhage said...

Thanks so much for this!!

sotise said...

Really ES , you sound like an embittered former Michel Portal employee, You have a right not to dig his music, and Aebi's for that matter but if you are going to make such vehement attacks you need to be more specific ,and provide some facts .. i for one have always appreciated Aebi's playing and singing ...shes a wonderful unique musical personality, a great musician for that matter!.. and my understanding was that Lacy had to let O.Johnson go because of 'personal' problems and illness....

Frankly i think you're full of shit

marten512 said...

Riccardo, may I suggest that the 'wonderful (and very long) version of 'Existence' is in fact the first recorded version of 'The Way'?

riccardo said...

@ marten512

you're right : i've corrected the

6. Tao Suite : Existence/The Way/Bone/Name/The Breath/Life On Its Way

JC said...

Thanks a lot. Enough said methinks?

E S said...

Sotise, tu ne raconte que des sottises…

I wasn't getting into name-caling - I was just trying to defend Oliver (as Riccardo so eloquently did with his quote from Lacy - which supports 80% of what I said). The story about Oliver is 100% true. Ask JJ Avenel or SPotts…

If everything is always "peace & love" all the time 24/24 7/7 and everybody plays great all the time then there is no sense in listening to this music. I'm not going to knock Ron Pittner - mainly because no one full enough of "sottises" to insist that his playing has more depth and meaning than Oliver's.

But when people mention Irene's playing and say that she was "underrated this" and "special that" the honesty cops have got to come out of the closet.

She was out of tune, out of tempo and sounded like she came out of the Peoria Illinois Civic light opera's version of Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire". She ruined many great recordings. She was the girlfriend along for the ride.

Some people can play - some people can't: I have a very wide conception of what is valid and what isn't in Jazz. I love all Jazz from Satchmo to Ayler to Cecil to Tomasz Stanko, but Irene and Porthole can't play. Period. I've been there - I've lived this music and this is obvious to virtually anyone who has lived within the milieu of African American Art music. I knew Oliver - I knew him very well - he was the most HONEST human being that I've ever met - he died because of his EXTREME honesty. And if we're going to honor his playing and his legacy in jazz, we need to be honest too.

This conversation can continue if you wish, but I think that I've said enough for now…

kinabalu said...

I've been pondering this statement:

"he died because of his EXTREME honesty".

How can honesty be the cause of death? Honesty is a mental disposition, not a medical condition.

Then I found this:

Le matin du 6 mars 2002, le batteur Oliver Johnson a été découvert mort, recroquevillé sur un banc de la rue Pierre Lescot, dans le quartier de Châtelet, à Paris.
L'autopsie révéla que le larynx avait été broyé et les côtes brisées. Battu à mort. Assassiné.

Crushed larynx, broken ribs. Beaten to death. Murdered. I get the picture. Honesty, if that's what it is, can sometimes be lethal, apparently. There's a lession in there somewhere. Maybe being a little less EXTREMELY honest might have saved his life. Think about it. Honestly.

Igor said...

To be honest, Irene Aebi would not be included in a hypothetical Steve Lacy's band that I would like to listen. With all respect.

It seems to me that some of you stepped to hard on ES, buddies. It's not shit everything he said, I think.
He probably know some facts "from the source"

kinabalu said...

Igor, I wouldn't say that.I confess to having no strong opinions on Irene Aebi or on Steve Lacy for that matter. But when someone is "the world's greatest poseur", someone else is the "girlfriend (??!)who came along for the ride" and yet someone else is the "paragon of absolute honesty", I thought that something didn't smell quite right (if you know what I mean) ...

Igor said...

@kinabalu: As for the meaning of your last sentence; that's classified...but it seems you're right.

Bozo the Clown said...

Bozo is prepared for being wrong, but isn't the last song "BLINKS", not "Dumps"? I bad with tune names!

DrEyescope said...

I feel a need to weigh in on the "Aebi Question".
Fredito and Bozo's comments re: Aebi were made as an honest gesture of appreciation for a musician whom they obviously enjoy listening to. How this makes them "Da Fools" is beyond me.It seems obvious that no ulterior motives prompted their comments. I may or may not(-More about that later) agree with them, but They were simple statements of appreciation.
E.S.- Your comments seem motivated by your love for Oliver Johnson and his playing less than they seem to be motivated by something left unstated- some Personal animosity.And how you can write with "Honesty" that you "weren't getting into name-calling" is incomprehensible."Ducks Aebi" Is nothing more. And I wasn't aware that Oliver Johnson needed "defending" (From whom? Is there an "Aebi is better than Oliver" argument going on in here?)

I agree that Irene sounds "out of tune"- SOMETIMES. I agree that she loses the time- SOMETIMES. I DON"T agree that (as a vocalist) she sounded like she came from a "Peoria Illinois" (etc etc)- by which I take it you mean she had no style, no ear, and no POWER.
I saw her in a duet performance-Lacy's final performance in my city- and she sang with such authority, power and emotion that she (at moments) stole the spotlight from Mr.Lacy (who is, in case you're wondering about MY motives, my favorite instrumentalist EVER.)

I don't always like what Irene does on her violin, but she is not the only player with intonation problems- but the problem did not originate in her EAR, I don't think. Her pitch as a vocalist is almost always spot-on,(and you know how snakey and difficult Lacy's compositions can be, I'm sure) and though her timbre takes some getting used to- "Da Fools" doesn't accurately describe those who like it.

I think there may be a problem with nepotism and corruption in the "Honesty Police" Union,

Oh! And riccardo-Thanks for the music.Looking forward to yet another version of the Tao Suite.
(I love that suite.)

Anonymous said...

a re-up would be much appreciated. Interesting discussion, too. I am sure lots of people would like to hear the music. An anticipatory Thank you! msj

martin said...

Here are the Flacs as uploaded by Riccardo:


Track 6, in the above file, is the complete Tao suite (and 56 minutes long). For my own benefit I split it into its separate parts here:


roberth said...

any chance of a 2018 re up of this?
it looks great

kinabalu said...

New link:


Hmmm, quite so heated discussion on this thread (for a change).

Ernst Grgo Nebhuth said...

Thanks for the reup, Kinabalu.

roberth said...

thanku kinabalu for the re up,
looking forward to seeing what all the heat was about
lacy is almost always worth it

OSIRIS said...

Thanks Man, I'm crazy for Lacy solo stuff from his freejazz period.

francisco santos said...