Blues For Aida

Steve Lacy Solo at Egg Farm:

Blues For Aida

Recorded in 1995

Steve Lacy soprano saxophone

CD#1 (1st set)
Ind. Title Composer Dur.
1/ Shuffle Boil Steve Lacy 19:43
2/ Eronel
3/ Evidence
4/ Pannonica
5/ Who Knows 3:35
7/ Blues For Aïda 5:32
6/ The Crust 5:11
8/ Cette Fois 3:08
9/ The Mantle 5:47
10/ Prospectus 4:02
CD#2 (2nd set)
Ind. Title Composer Dur.
1/ Moms Steve Lacy 6:20
2/ Art 6:59
3/ The Rent 5:55
4/ Revenue 6:13
5/ Retreat 6:30
6/ Deadline 7:16
7/ Trinkle Tinkle Steve Lacy 4:14

Recorded on September 10, 1995 at Hall Egg Farm (formerly 'Space Who') - Japan.


Avec le disque Blues for Aida, c'est à un intense concert solo que nous sommes conviés. L'enregistrement restitue l'intégralité (90 min) de cette prestation - équitablement partagée entre des thèmes de Monk et des compositions personnelles - dans un climat très recueilli.

La prise de son, fidèle sans être flatteuse, révèle l'enjeu extrême du "solo absolu", dévoile cette spatialisation toute théâtrale du son, laisse vibrer un silence que Steve caresse et courtise de façon quasi minimaliste.

À l'écoute de ces pièces poignantes (Retreat, Art) et dansantes (Revenue, Prospectus), on est en droit de méditer, avec le poète Buson : "En se rejoignant / elles deviennent silencieuses / les eaux de montagne."

Guillaume Tarche (Improjazz, 10/96)

Liner Notes

Anyone who has followed Steve Lacy's music over the years probably has a certain preference for his solo work. More than any other improvising musician, Lacy takes advantage of his solo work in order to integrate silence and sound, the immediate ambience and environment into a kind of music that sounds whole even in a single note.

Lacy himself must have been in high spirits. Each piece played had a unique tone, an atmosphere and power of its own. The concert as a whole gave clear evidence of the uniqueness of Steve Lacy's music: its intellectual and even emotional originality. It is a music that is as free as it is precise.

And, in a way, it is a simple music - because it is essentially the manifestation of a divine blessing. It is beautiful because it comes without any decor or frills. It stretches the invisible limit of possibility. Listening to it is like raptly overhearing an intensely breathless conversation.

The title piece, Blues for Aida is a eulogy for Akira Aida, who died in 1978 at the age of 38, and whom Lacy once called "the Diaghilev of the Jazz World." Aida was a radical critic and an exceptional producer and organizer, who presented Steve Lacy in Japan for the first time all his own doing. In this piece, Lacy's deep and sensitive knowledge is apparent in that it was inspired by a mournful poem from the "Man'yo shu", Japan's earliest (l0th Century) collection of poems. This darkly lyrical piece represents an exquisite fusion of the mood of the poem and Lacy's feeling for the Blues. The penetrating theme and the improvisation based on it are equally moving.

And as a whole, this CD is sure to occupy a special place in the Lacy discography. As was implied above, part of the fascination of Steve Lacy's music is that it never stops revealing new sides to it. Its covertly (and sometimes overtly) disturbing quality is that it leaves on the listener a deep understanding of what life consists: the reckless ruthlessness of youth, the maturity of age, and an acutely empirical wisdom.

Kazue Kobata & Arturo Silva (excerpt from liner notes)