Steve Lacy/Andrea Centazzo – Clangs LP
Ictus Records’ reissue initiative fittingly begins with Clangs, the first LP issued by the label in 1976. Featuring Steve Lacy on soprano saxophone, bird calls, and pocket synthesizer (or “crack box”), with Andrea Centazzo on drums, percussion, whistle, and vocals, the album is the culmination of a couple of weeks that the two artists spent together while Lacy was touring Italy during that year. Clangs encounters Lacy — one of the giants of American free jazz — already two decades into a career defined by brilliant collaborations with Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, and Thelonious Monk, as well as a sprawling body of visionary work as a leader. Like so much of his work leading into this period, it draws upon the saxophonist’s belief that an artist should “play what you feel”, a position that Centazzo — roughly 15 years Lacy’s junior — recalls as having torn down the curtain that separated his technique from his creativity. Comprising a series of duets that investigate timbral relationships, the fragmentation of melody, and abrasive, provocative noise — shifting from the sparse, airy, and restrained, to dance clusters of interplay and back again — Clangs, for all its radicalism and forward-thinking gestures, rests firmly within the historic structures of jazz, deploying the idiom of theme/solo/theme. Lacy’s playing is at the top of his form — fluttering and dancing with a primal touch — met by Centazzo’s rattle and pattern of percussive interventions, the notes and polyrhythms of each respective player being the product of careful listening, response, and raising the bar. Edition of 250.