Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Whammies Play the Music of Steve Lacy, Vol. 2

I believe I noted this in my review of Volume One, but it bears repeating. That is, that the Whammies do for the music of Steve Lacy what Lacy himself (along with Roswell Rudd) did for the music of Thelonious Monk. They recontextualize it by taking the compositions and playing them in the spirit of the author, but then also make it fresh by adding the chemistry and personalities of the new set of players involved.

This is most certainly again the case with The Whammies Play the Music of Steve Lacy, Vol, 2 (Driff 1303), perhaps even more so. It's an excellent group of players: Jorrit Dijkstra on alto and lyricon, Pandelis Karayorgis, piano, Jeb Bishop, trombone, Mary Oliver, violin and viola, Nate McBride, bass, and Han Bennink, drums.

Some heavy players for sure, then. And what they do with Lacy is make him new by their own singularities as players. Everybody is attuned to the Lacy abstractness and takes on the music in their own right. Fittingly the volume ends with "Shuffle Boil", a Monk composition to brings things full circle.

This is important music both for the Lacy works and for the players' way with it all. It's music that in no way sounds dated--and of course there would be no reason why it should. It's music as modern as today, yet of course with roots in the lineage of avant jazz.


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