Review - The Box Set

Artist: Jimmy Lyons

Although the singular insistence of the title is somewhat misleading, Ayler Records founder (and Lyons sessionographer) Jan Ström has nonetheless compiled a substantial collection of prime live Lyons. Sound quality varies, but the five discs document a wide swath of time (from 1972 to 1985, a year before Lyons' death) and all of Lyons' glory as one of free jazz's pre-eminent alto saxophonists. Though his excellent work with Andrew Cyrille, Joseph Jarman and Don Moye isn't represented here, players like William Parker and Raph? Malik are nonetheless able accompanists in these live settings. And though the $95 price tag is a bit steep, the mere fact that this excellent set documents an underregarded master in his best environment makes it worth the cost.

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