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Home > Blog > Rare discovery: an unreleased Steve Lacy recording

Rare discovery: an unreleased Steve Lacy recording

It's one of those rare and precious moments in the life of a record store: stumbling upon a unique piece.

Published on January 19, 2023
by Plexus

Photograph © Guy le Querrec

The discovery of an unreleased Steve Lacy recording

A little background first...

After starting his career in the United States alongside the greatest jazzmen of his time, Steve Lacy quickly plunged into the Free-Jazz adventure under the influence of pianist Cecil Taylor. And like many American musicians of this scene, he decides to leave to continue his research in Europe from the end of the 60s. In 1970, the saxophonist lived and worked in Paris. He was at the forefront of the Avant-garde and of this new wave of Free Jazz, rubbing shoulders with the greatest names and experimenting at the American Center, a particularly active cultural and artistic institution at the time.

We know1 that a recording session took place in 1970 for the label "La Compagnie" with Kenneth Terroade, Irene Aebi (his wife singer and violinist), Bob Reid, Don Moye and Earl Freeman. This session, named simply "Stations", will unfortunately never result in any commercial publication.

This is where the life of a record store is full of surprises. When we were looking at a lot of records offered for sale by a passionate collector, we came across a very rare test pressing of this session.

1. Discography reviewed and approved by Lacy himself.

Five unreleased tracks powerfull free jazz

Extracted track (A1) :

No surprises in this recording, at least for those who know a little bit about Steve Lacy's work. The music is powerful, hard, provocative, without any concessions for the neophyte. Free jazz in its purest form, at the same time powerful and heartbreaking in its densest passages, but also minimalist and meditative in its purified pauses. The message is clear, the music will be free, period !

A few rare melodic quotations reveal themselves here and there, like a masked heritage from Monk, Taylor, Bechet, but they are only there to be deconstructed and disfigured.

The whole session is part of the French free-jazz scene, of which the label Byg is the leader. The following year, Steve Lacy will release an album with similar sounds on this same label, still accompanied by his partner Irene Aebi.


A collector's item for all Free Jazz lovers

We are delighted to have been able to come across and offer for purchase this unique piece in exceptional condition ! It was able to join the collection of its new owner in the safe and secure cocoon of one of our professional quality packages.

Plexus buying policy :
how do we buy this kind of rarities?

Encounters such records are not very frequent in the daily life of a record shop. Nevertheless, this type of repurchase is treated with the same transparency as all the others.

We always make sure that the owner-seller can ask us for a detailed description of our estimate, disc by disc. We buy worlwide, see more >

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