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Box Set
Jimmy Lyons
Box Set
Genre: Jazz


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CD Details

All Artists: Jimmy Lyons
Title: Box Set
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Ayle
Release Date: 1/1/2003
Genre: Jazz
Style: Avant Garde & Free Jazz
Number of Discs: 5
SwapaCD Credits: 5
UPC: 7320470037300

CD Reviews

A Brilliant Set Documenting a Master Creator
x | USA | 11/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"For many people, the name Jimmy Lyons conjures visions that are inextricably linked to the music of Cecil Taylor. Because he is documented on many Cecil Taylor albums, why do we need five CDs of his own work? Well, we need this set because Jimmy Lyons was a remarkable creative voice in his own right, and this set is a testament to the man's creativity, passion, and uncompromising vision. Jimmy Lyons was one of the greatest alto players in the history of progressive jazz, as anyone who listens to this set will easily realize.

The music on this set was all previously unreleased. The sound quality varies, but overall it is quite good. The first CD, from '72, features a group whose music is bolstered by the playing of Raphe Malik. The interplay between Lyons and Malik is unbelievable. The version of "Jump Up" that opens the disc absolutely smokes. Disc 2 is from '75 and features Jimmy in a trio setting. Disc 3 continues the '75 set and also features a very rare solo sax performance from `81. It is a real treat to hear Lyons playing a solo performance. For the most part, he does a pretty good job at developing his creativity into coherent ideas, but occasionally he breaks into the "Woody Woodpecker" theme when the muse runs a little dry. (That's okay, that is what cartoon themes are for, right?) It doesn't really matter--this is Jimmy freaking Lyons playing solo! How cool is that?!?! Discs 4 and 5 are noteworthy for the addition of Karen Borca in the group. She is an unbelievable talent and really plays brilliantly with Lyons. Paul Murphy also does a fine job on the drums.

I am deeply thankful that Ayler Records has released this much-needed tribute to one of the titanic creators of avant-jazz. I hope there will be an additional set of unreleased material made available in the near future. Despite the occasional sonic limitations of the source material (which are few, actually), this remains one of the most treasured sets in my collection. The small paper booklet is loaded with details about the recordings and informative, thoughtful essays. The CDs are packaged in plain white sleeves. Altogether it is a modest package, but it is indeed worth the price and then some. Because this is a very limited edition set (500 copies worldwide) that has been out for a couple of years, pick this up now. You will not regret it.