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Steve Lacy

Steve Lacy refers to two different artists: 1) Steve Lacy (July 23, 1934 – June 4, 2004), born Steven Norman Lackritz in New York, was an innovative jazz soprano saxophonist. Lacy began his career working with dixieland music with masters such as Henry "Red" Allen, George "Pops" Foster and Zutty Singleton and then with Kansas City jazz players like Buck Clayton, Dicky Wells, and Jimmy Rushing before jumping into the heart of the avant-garde by performing on the debut album of Cecil Taylor, and making a notable appearance on an early Gil Evans album. His most enduring relationship, however, has been with the music of Thelonious Monk: Lacy recorded the first all-Monk album (Reflections, Prestige, 1958) and played in Monk's band briefly in 1960 and on Monk's Big Band/Quartet album (Big Band and Quartet in Concert, Columbia, 1963). Monk tunes became a permanent part of his repertoire, making an appearance in virtually every concert appearance and on albums. Lacy was interested in all the arts: the visual arts and poetry in particular became important sources for him (he frequently made musical settings of his favourite writers: Robert Creeley, Tom Raworth, Brion Gysin and other Beat writers, haiku, Herman Melville...). He also collaborated with a truly extraordinary range of musicians, from traditional jazz to the avant-garde to contemporary classical music. Outside of his regular sextet, his most important regular collaborator was probably the pianist Mal Waldron, with whom he recorded a classic series of duet albums (notably Sempre Amore, a collection of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn material, Soul Note, 1987).He also played with pianist Eric Watson . Diagnosed with cancer in August 2003, he continued playing and teaching until weeks before his death at the age of 69 in 2004. 2) An indie rock performer who released his first record, "Steve Lacy's Demo," in 2017. The Internet's founding members Syd and Matt Martians have each released excellent solo albums this winter and now it's their youngest bandmate's turn: Steve Lacy. Playing with the band throughout high school, the 18-year-old guitarist and producer is credited by many for shaping the groovy sound found on the group's breakout album Ego Death. Finally graduated from school, he's toured with The Internet, produced a song for Big Sean and Jhené Aiko's TWENTY88 project, and featured on Kali Uchis' "Only Girl." Last month, Martians admitted that his own album wouldn't have been possible without Lacy and told me over the phone, "Steve is like the first little brother I've had, for real. But then again, he's like an older brother, too, because he teaches me things. He's ten years younger than me, so he teaches me things about new ways of thinking and new ideas." Now, after a couple years of sharing addicting loosies on his SoundCloud page (including my personal favorite "thats no fun") Lacy's first body of work as a solo artist has arrived in the form of Steve Lacy's Demo—made entirely on his iPhone in GarageBand. Dive in via Apple Music below. Lacy clarified that it should be available on all streaming services by Friday morning.

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