Saturday, April 24, 2010

BYG, 1970

This label formed in Paris by Fernand Boruso, Jean-Luc Young, and Jean Georgakarakos--the first initials of their last names formed the imprint's moniker--back in 1967 provided a crucial platform for the explosion of free jazz expats from the US that descended upon France in the late 60s, headed by leading lights of Chicago's AACM like Art Ensemble of Chicago, Anthony Braxton, Leroy Jenkins, and Leo Smith. Some key east coast players, like Archie Shepp and Sunny Murray also made the scene, hooking up with some interesting European types as well. It was all over by 1972, but the stunning releases on BYG, once clogging used record store bins, have become eminently collectable--but that wouldn't matter if the music wasn't strong, too. This label is from Other Afternoons, the killer debut album by alto saxophonist Jimmy Lyons--Cecil Taylor's most trusted and simpatico sideman--and it includes great work by Lester Bowie, Alan Silva, and Andrew Cyrille. The music was made in the fall of 1969, but the record came out the following year.

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