Steve Lacy

Sands

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This solo soprano saxophone album presents Steve Lacy playing material from one of his practice books -- the "S" book, to be exact -- including material spanning the '70s through the '90s. Recorded in Lacy's home, excellent sound and acoustics bring the horn up close. Extremely lyrical, the pieces progress at a steady, unhurried pace. In fact, the whole album flows without much differentiation (with the obvious exception of track nine, on which wife and longtime collaborator Irene Aebi sings): similar mood, similar tempo, and few pauses. But if it seems rather like a medley, or has the feel of a comfortable demonstration, that's because this recording is, essentially, Lacy practicing. Sands, however, can be quite helpful for students or any fan who wants to hear the method behind the skill of this modern master.

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