19 January 2009

Steve Lacy - Outings - Nueva NC 1012 (1986) / Nexus - Open Mouth Blues - Red Record VPA 169 (1983)

AMG Review by Brian Olewnick

Though soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy recorded many volumes of solo music, on only a handful did he use overdubbing and rarely to the extent of this obscure album recorded in Italy in 1986. Sponsored by the official Italian radio station, RAI, and apparently intended as the first of a series of radio broadcasts called Sounding Islands, Outings consists of two lengthy pieces very much in the inimitable Lacy style: clean, almost singsongy themes that gradually expand, fracture, and wend their way into unexpected and beautiful territory. The first piece, “Labyrinth,” dedicated to the painter Giorgio de Chirico, overdubs three saxophones at the beginning and end but is otherwise given over to a “standard” solo performance with Lacy keeping to the lower ranges of his instrument and eschewing any shrillness or abrasiveness. “Islands” opens with a sextet of overdubbed soprano saxes playing a repeating, minimalist theme in the foreground with plaintive moans in the rear (reminiscent of some work by the duo of Anthony Braxton and Richard Teitelbaum) before reverting to a duo format, here recorded with substantial room ambience. The reverberations of the soprano and the generally mournful tones provide a fine, melancholy aura. In fact, this selection features some of the calmest, almost pastoral playing that one is likely to hear from Lacy until some squeaks and multi-phonics set in during the final third of the piece. If lucky enough to find a copy, Outings is a worthwhile addition to the Lacy catalog and should be of substantial interest to the serious Lacy collector.

I must add that this recording was sponsored not only by the Italian radio station RadioUno but even, I say almost by the important ISMEZ (Institute For The Musical Development Of Southern Countries) which was, through the figure of musicologist Gianfranco Salvatore the producer of the record.

From the cover notes written by Gianfranco Salvatore he says:

“In preparing for ISMEZ, of a research project on the Mediterranean musical archetypes that also provided for the production of relevant original compositions by contemporary musicians, it was easy to think of Steve Lacy as the ideal musicians…a musician to whom one could entrust the ancient achetype of the Labyrinth. In all of Lacy’s work in fact, one can perceive something that looks like a geometry of the Arcanum: his soprano sax(“divine, perverse instrument, not yet quite determined”, as he once said to me in an interview) has always expressed a “reasoning spirituality”, a music that appears at the same time visionary like an oracle and convincing like a science”

Steve Lacy soprano sax overdubbed

Recorded in Rome 1986 april 12 and 13 and june 20.

01 Labirinth 20.05

02 Island 20.50

All compositions by Steve Lacy



In my opinion one of the most exciting records of Italian (European?) jazz in the eighties.

The first output of a neglected group, and a little known album never reissued on cd. Music so strong and yet lirycal, swingin’hard and with themes that fills in your head without givin’ up to timbrical and compositional research.

The source of this music is in Andrew Cirylle groups (Tiziano Tononi studied with Cirylle who is by his admission his musical and life teacher) and perhaps Tim Berne.

Recorded & mixed at Studio Barigozzi, Milano, 1983 June 24th and 25th
Released September 1983

A1) Amanita Muscaria (P.DallaPorta) 16.20
A2) Open Mouth Blues (T.Tononi) 6.46
B3) Night Raga Falls (D.Cavallanti) 8.22
B4) Song for the Seals (T.Tononi) 11.22

Daniele Cavallanti tenor & baritone saxes
Pino Minafra trumpet, flueghelhorn, pocket trumpet
Luca Bonvini trombone, sackbut
Paolino Dalla Porta bass, tambourine, kalimba
Tiziano Tononi drums, percussion, gongs

A music post seemed to me the only possible way to THANKS Sotise and Boromir. and try to overcome the great sadness in me.

No More Words. Listen And Enjoy the music!

See YOU. :-) LYM


LYM said...

The Lacy album is a cd ripping with eac in FLAC with full scans at 200dpi.

The Nexus album is a vinyl ripping with Pro-Ject box and Goldwave recording software, no equalization or noise reduction used. Ripped in WAV format, shots of front and back cover

Steve Lacy – Outings – Nueva (1986)


NEXUS - OPEN MOUTH BLUES" LP Red Record VPA 169 (1983)


See YOU. :-) LYM

Anonymous said...

looks interesting - thANK YOU


Albert said...

I dont think that the comments were the reason for you to go on with this blog. But if you say so...;)i've learned a lot about music thanks to this blog. I don't know if it's enough for you, but i do have respect for you and the rest of your team on this blog for this realy great job.
thanx anyway and good luck!
greetings from Poland

Anonymous said...

Thanks very much for the Lacy!

Steve H said...

Thank you so much for the Nexus ... I've been curious about this for years, never heard it until now. And thanks a million for carrying on!

1009 said...

Hooray! Steve Lacy is one of the titans with whom I have become familiar mainly due to the efforts of this blog team. Thanks so much for posting this album (of which, I might add, I was completely ignorant until now).

Jake said...

I haven't read this blog long, and don't generally comment, but yeah, I can understand the frustration with the lack of feedback.

So thanks for the rare Lacy and everything else. We're lucky to have you.

1009 said...

in mp3@320 for those so inclined (scans included):


il angelo said...

Wonderful surprise of the Nexus Album. Thanks for carrying on, this blog is always illuminating.

Wallofsound said...

Thanks, LYM, for kick starting us again after two pieces of bad news. These looks great. But anything on RED is worth a listen, I think.

LYM said...

A great thanks to all for Your kind appreciation!

@wallofsound, as Sotise pointed out in the comment to the “SIC Trio - Altri pezzi" post " Its a little known fact that Red record were in the vanguard of italian labels documenting 'free improvised music' in the late 70's.
However by the early eighties, clearly influenced by the 'neo classical' zeitgeist permeating through from the States, they more or less reversed their exploratory program to focus on music in a much more conventional hard bop mode... with a few exceptions most of their early catalog has not been reissued and seems unlikely to be, a real pity since they document an underrated, VERY under documented scene."
So this is the story and in the nex times I'll try to post again some RED Record Lp's togheter with r a Red LP catalogue.

See YOU. :-) LYM

Anonymous said...

Thanks LYM, and thanks 1009!

Boromir said...

It's nice to see the blog is in good hands and has more substance than a couple of individuals. May you continue to enjoy some fine music. I most certainly look forward to hearing this.

Captain Freedom said...

You guys are putting some beautiful music out there, very happy and thankful to find your blog.

I say just ignore the assholes, you will live longer that way.

Anonymous said...

I have no idea what music this is.

And that's what's great about IS - you get to hear and learn about new jazz from folk who know about it!!

Yay Inconstant Sol!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, me again lol

Seriously - for folk like me, who don't know much about jazz but loves it and loves to learn, I.S. is a MAJOR resource

Yay Inconstant Sol!

LYM said...

@ anonimous and everyone here
thanks a lot for the kind appreciations!

See YOU. :-) LYM

LYM said...

@anonimous I can say that I agree with YOU since I'm a IS newcomer and I'll be proud go on posting here, but Your appreciation goes first to sotise, and all the other contributors who founded and made so amazing this place!

See YOU. :-) LYM

For any doubt or help asks freely, and if I'can I'll answer You for sure.

kinabalu said...

Thanks for this one, Lym. I haven't got around to downloading it, but always appreciate having some Lacy around here. I just ordered a copy of "The Gap" which was out on the America label in the early 70s. Very much looking forward to hearing that one, too.

1009 said...

Island is absolutely gorgeous -- maybe my new favorite Lacy. Like Debussy in the beginning, then classic Lacy, then Schoenberg-esque towards the end. Just beautiful stuff.

Meantime let's hear more about the Germans & the stalking. It rulez.

LYM said...

Thanks for Your kind appreciation! I hoped tha someone would have listened and appreciated this obscure and unique recording in Lacy's discography (at least amongst the ones I know).

Thanks again.

See YOU. :-) LYM

PS A note about German & stalkin'.
One of the greatest Italian poets, Dante Alighieri, in his "Divina Commedia" wrote: "Fama di loro il mondo esser non lassa;
misericordia e giustizia li sdegna:
non ragioniam di lor, ma guarda e passa."
Which means "Don't talk over them, but take a look and go farther"

ghostrancedance said...

Thanks very much for the Lacy, LYM. Quite a unique album...

Sardo said...

LYM thanks for Tononi_Cavallanti - Nexus. I never heard this title.

LYM said...

thanks for the appreciation.
This is the first Nexus album recorded for italian RED Record label the tracks are a vinyl ripping and this one, unbelievably, has never been reissued in Cd so it's an OOP. Read hear the sotise comment, with wich I totally agree since that's the story, to The SIC Trio "Altro Pezzo" album.

Lookin for the Nexus Kirk's rendition can I hope to see that on Your fine blog in the future?
Thanks in advance.
See YOU. :-) LYM

matt w said...

Just started listening to the Lacy and it sounds great. Thanks for upping it.

There's another Lacy overdubbed solo album Lapis (which is part of the scratching the 70s box set) which has shorter pieces, and has a lot more noise playing -- not quite like the straightforward beauty of this one.

Calisan said...

Hii LYM:
Sorry, but where's the shots of front and back cover of Nexus?
and thanks for this beauty!!

LYM said...

@calisan and anyone here,
HI CALISAN! You're right the cover images are missing!
I apologize here the links:
Open Mouth Blues back.jpg


Open Mouth Blues front.jpg



funksta said...

Please reup 1st part of Outings. Looks interesting