Steve Lacy Day

July 23, 1934 – June 4, 2004


Click here to Support Jazz on the Tube

Saxophonist and composer Steve Lacy was born on July 23, 1934 in New York City.

Lacy played with a handful of American jazz musicians before moving to Paris in 1970. His work with his sextet, including his wife, Irene Aebi, earned him acclaim across Europe.

Recognized as an important soprano saxophonist, Steve Lacy first came to prominence
as a Dixieland player during the 1950s.

He began preforming professionally with seasoned musicians including Pee Wee Russell, Zutty Singleton, and Henry “Red” Allen.

In 1956 the saxophonist became involved with the avant-garde movement appearing on Cecil Taylor’s “Jazz Advance” LP and performing as a member of Taylor’s quartet at the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival.

Enamored with the music of Thelonious Monk he recorded his first album to feature the pianist’s music in “Reflections” for Prestige in 1958 following by a brief stay with Monk’s band in 1960.

Lacy would go on to dabbled in free improvisation but retained his rigid sense of melody and structure.

After first visiting to Europe in 1965 with Kenny Drew, Steve traveled to Italy and formed a quartet with Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava a group which cane be heard on the 1967 ESP album release “The Forest and the Zoo.”

In later years in addition to performance Steve Lacy focused his talents on teaching and composition and in 1992 was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship Grant.

He would continue to teach until weeks prior to his death from cancer in June 2004.

The “Steve Lacy Quartet” perform at Jazz 1st Geschichtenerzahlen 1995.


Steve Lacy, soprano sax
Bobby Few, piano
Jean-Jacques Avenel, bass
John Betsch, drums


Click here to Support Jazz on the Tube