Steve Lac, Mal Waldron

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Mal Waldron,Steve Lac
LABELS: Daybreak
ALBUM TITLE: Steve Lacy, Mal Waldron
WORKS: At the Bimhuis 1982 (first release)
PERFORMER: Steve Lacy (saxophone), Mal Waldron (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: DBCHR 75249
Although the work of this

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partnership was often committed

to disc it’s impossible to have

too much of such a good thing,

so this previously unissued live

date at the legendary Amsterdam

venue is most welcome. The

duo’s programme opens with

what is, apparently, the earliest

known recording of Lacy’s ‘Blues

for Aïda’, its stripped-down

saxophone line see-sawing gently

against Waldron’s sensitive

accompaniment. The pianist’s

extended ‘Snake Out’ does exactly

that, and there are three Monk

compositions that are typical of

the duo’s individual and joint set

lists. The extraordinary empathy

between these two musicians was

always in evidence, with Lacy’s

meandering, somewhat bovine

(in a good way) style finding the

perfect foil in Waldron’s at times

poignant, sometimes garrulous

statements and responses

Overall, it’s hard to deny that

Lacy and Waldron’s playing

is musically beyond criticism,

while the sound quality on this

recording only loses a star because

of some tape hiss which, while very

occasional, particularly stands out

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during the first few bars.