The Way

Steve Lacy Five:

The Way

There is no need to run outside for better seeing,
Nor to peer from a window,
Rather abide at the center of your being.

(Lao Tseu)

Recorded in 1979

LP LP (audiophile edition) CD 1994 CD 2004

Steve Lacy soprano saxophone Steve Potts alto & soprano saxophones Irene Aebi cello, violin & voice Kent Carter bass Oliver Johnson drums

CD 604-1
Ind. Title Composer / Author Dur.
1-1/ Stamps * Steve Lacy 5:46
1-2/ Blinks * 10:45
1-3/ Troubles * 9:59
1-4/ Raps 11:31
1-5/ Dreams Steve Lacy / Brion Gysin 9:17
CD 604-2
Ind. Title Composer / Author Dur.
The TAO Suite:
2-1/ Existence Steve Lacy / Lao Tzu 8:40
2-2/ The Way 9:56
2-3/ Bone 7:44
2-4/ Name 12:57
2-5/ The Breath 12:00
2-6/ Life On Its Way 11:05
2-7/ Swiss Duck Steve Lacy 5:52

* not on original LP release.

Recorded live at Stadttheater, Bale (Switzerland), January 23, 1979. Engineer: Peter Pfister. Mastered by Peter Pfister.

Photography by Peter Rolle (1994) or Thomas Wunsch (2004). Cover art: Ecke Bonk, 94 (1994) or fuhrer vienna (2004). Note that Steve Lacy proposed an artwork for the cover (instead of the ugly puzzle of the 1994 edition), but this was never taken into consideration.

Producers: Pia & Werner X. Uehlinger

Liner Notes

THE WAY is a long story. Based on an old chinese text, attributed to LAO TZU, it reached me 2000 years later, in New York, in Witter Bynner's Sing-Song version : THE TAO TEH CHING (published by Capricorn Books). That was 1959. By '67 - I had already set the melody of "THE WAY" for Irene and was mulling over the other verses. The rest of the pieces were written in the late 60's. By the early 70's began the elaboration and realization of this music, known as TAO, which is still going on.

By now, after hundreds of performances of this cycle (in solo, duo, quintet, orchestra, with dancers, electronics etc.), the shape and sound is coming clear and the whole work seems destined to become "standard", one day. New wings for old words - so be it.

This is the first complete performance of "TAO". Alrerady, one year later, some parts have been modified, re-worked, developped. The music is complete, but, lucky for me, unfinished.

Steve Lacy, Paris, December 1979 (excerpt from liner notes)