5 x Monk 5 x Lacy
Recorded in 1994
|1/||Shuffle Boil||Thelonious Monk||3:48|
|5/||Who Knows||Thelonious Monk||3:12|
|6/||The Crust||Steve Lacy||4:13|
|7/||Blues For Aïda||Steve Lacy||6:09|
|9/||Naked Lunch||Steve Lacy||4:13|
Recorded on March 26, 1994 in the Hörsalen of the Stockholm Kulturhuset (Sweden). Engineer: Maurice Mogard.
Edited by Gert Palmcrantz & Keith Knox on October 3rd, 1995.
Mastered at RP Recording, Skärholmen (Sweden) on March 7th, 1996. Engineer: Rune Persson.
Producer: Lars-Göran Ulander & Swedish Radio/P2.
Cover painting: Bon Thompson (Milano, 1966). Cover art: Jörgen Renhorn.
Shuffle Boil: I like to begin solo concerts with this piece, because of its low register, medium tempo, and the generous use of silent space. It has a very simple melody, but it is also a subtle polyphonic structure with interesting harmonic implications. Of course, all of Thelonious Monk's music is about play and dance.
Eronel is a good vehicle from the late '40s; bebop for blowing on and a charming melodic portrait of somebody's old flame, (Lenore spelled backwards).
Evidence: Since I've been studying, practising, and performing (and teaching) this composition for 40 years, the evidence indicates that:
1) It must be extremely interesting and/or very challenging and problematic.
2) Evidently I'm not satisfied with my own interpretation of it and therefore, not 'finished' with it.
3) It is surely one of Monk's masterpieces, mysterious, provocative, and endlessly fascinating.
Pannonica: This is a portrait of the Baroness. Nica was a dear friend of mine, and one of the key personages on the New York scene when I was coming up, in the late '50s. We both loved Monk. She helped me to get the gig with him, at the Jazz Gallery in 1960. She aided many musicians in various ways, always with taste, discretion, humor, and elegance. Her style was as original as Monk's was, in her own way.
Who Knows is rarely performed, due to the complexity of line. The harmonic underpinnings are more old-fashioned, and the form ABCA works perfectly well for this pure bebop tune.
The Crust was written in '72. Rex Stewart, Duke and Fletcher's brass genius, gave me my name when I worked with him in 1953. He was a master of Iyrical space, and swinging humor. This piece is an evocation of his style and personality.
Blues For Aida: This was composed in the late '70s as part of a ballet, called "Score". It is one of five blues, based on Japanese love poems a thousand years old. It seems that the blues are eternal, as well as universal. Aquirax Aida, who died in the late '70s, was a connoisseur, critic, and promoter of all the arts, especially jazz. He brought me to Japan for the first time in '75, so that I could meet and perform with outstanding artists like Masahiko Togashi (percussion) and Watazumido So (shakuhachi).
Revenue was written several years ago and is a homage/portait to/of Robert Creeley. A great poet makes us all rich, even if he does not get wealthy himself. The improvisation is based on a scale, hidden in the fabric.
Naked Lunch: This is the main tango, from a dance piece we performed in the early '80s. The decor was by Brion Gysin, and the lyrics were from "Naked Lunch", by William Burroughs.
Deadline: I often finish a solo set with this line ('78), because it's the end of the line, when time runs out, and you can play anything you want, and it may be the last chance you'll ever get.
This was a typical solo set for me. The winds were in my favor, I had a good (Marca) reed, the public was attentive, and the gods were smiling, once again.
Steve Lacy - Berlin, 11 February '96 (excerpt from liner notes)