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Steve Lacy: Conversations Hardcover – August 9, 2006
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Weiss tells us that he became interested in Lacy's music primarily through his, and Irene Aebi's, connections to Brion Gysin, whose READER Weiss edited a while back. For nearly two decades Lacy and Gysin were co-conspirators, a "songwriting team," Weiss suggests, like Rodgers and Hammerstein or Greenwich and Barry. Lacy had an equally long, well longer, intimacy with the work of his mentor, jazz pianist Cecil Taylor, and then, from 1960 to his own death, he was frequently a pilgrim to the shrine of Thelonius Monk, whose work he revered beyond all others.
His wife, Irene Aebi, had many connections in the beat world, and their last LP together, BEAT SUITE, is a song cycle using texts from many canonical Beat poets (and such allied figures as Jack Spicer) whom Aebi knew from her youth. French Canadian musicians interviewed Lacy in 1976 in Montreal and New York; their interview is one of the best here, with some probing, intelligent questions designed to elicit thoughtful replies.Read more ›
What a deep pleasure it was to track the thoughts and insights of a master of his instrument, and of the creative process itself, over a lifetime which spanned the history of the music. I had no idea that he began playing with the likes of Pee Wee Russell and Charlie Shavers .. and then of course went on to play with Monk, Cecil Taylor, Gil Evens, Don Cherry, Roswell Rudd, Steve Potts .. the list is very long
It makes me wonder why similar collections of interviews have not been published for other jazz players. Was it because Steve Lacy was white, or because he worked in Europe so much? Many thanks to Jason Weiss for this brilliant book, and of course to Steve Lacy for his brilliant work.