b. Steven Norman Lackritz, 23 July 1934, New York City, New York, USA, d. 4 June 2004, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Few modern jazzmen have chosen the soprano saxophone as their main instrument; Steve Lacy was probably unique in choosing it as his only one. Reputed to be the player who inspired John Coltrane to take up the soprano (after which, thousands followed!), Lacy was ultimately responsible for the renaissance and popularity of the straight horn. He may also be unique for a career that took him through virtually every genre of jazz, from dixieland to bebop, free-form and total improvisation. As a child Lacy started piano lessons, then changed to clarinet and finally soprano saxophone. Inspired initially by Sidney Bechet, he began his career playing dixieland (two 1954 sessions led by trumpeter Dick Sutton were reissued under ...
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