Jean Derome’s Somebody Special: Music of Steve Lacy, with Karen Young (Québec)
The Montreal trio of Jean Derome (woodwinds), Normand Guilbeault (double-bass), and Pierre Tanguay (drums) is renowned for dedicating each set of a multi-set concert to pieces by a single composer, giving listeners a rich immersion into the work of, for example, Charles Mingus, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, or Misha Mengelberg. Somebody Special extends this research to the singular repertoire of American soprano saxophonist and composer, Steve Lacy. Since Lacy’s death in 2004, several repertory bands have emerged to play his vast book of compositions, but Somebody Special is one of the very few to focus on Lacy’s songs, composed for his wife and close music partner, Irene Aebi, settings of wonderful texts by published poets and artists. For this formidable task, Jean Derome has engaged one of Canada’s great singers, Karen Young. With pianist Alexandre Grogg rounding out the ensemble, Somebody Special (named for a Lacy song based on a text by Brion Gysin) will no doubt be something special indeed.
Karen Young photo credit: Michel Pinault