Recorded live at the Old Church in Portland, OR, this generous double disc is a great document of one of jazz's eternal adventurers with his working trio of Jean-Jacques Avenel and John Betsch.. Lacy has always seemed above the fray of commercial whim and fancy (which do exist even in the world of jazz). In his sax playing, you hear the refreshing enthusiasm of the student always groping for the next "aha!" riff or lick.
In Lacy's case, the earnest search possesses the grace and wisdom of 40 years of playing. He knows when less is more. The leader's restraint allows this trio to truly shine, with democratic interplay between sax, bass and drums that's both supportive and independent and always subtly driving. The title piece is a tribute to Lacy's friend Laurent Goddet, a Parisian jazz critic who committed suicide by jumping from the apartment building from which he was to be evicted. Avoiding somberness, it offers a perfect example of the group's dynamic: a mix of subtle, intuitive swing and quiet elegance.
Lacy's approach has always been affably Zen; he's an aural painter delicately filling a canvas of silence. Like the Japanese artist whose pen never leaves the paper, Lacy snakes serpentine phrases together in a gently swinging, steadily mounting melodic flow.
At the end of this brilliant set, Lacy recites a contemporary poem by Irish-American Galway Kinnell that could be his above-it-all mantra: "Whatever happens/whatever/what is/is/is what/I want/only that/but that."