Steve Lacy (featuring Elvin Jones): Four in One


Four in One


Steve Lacy (soprano sax)


Reflections (OJCCD 063-2)

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Steve Lacy (soprano sax), Mal Waldron (piano), Buell Neidlinger (bass), Elvin Jones (drums).

Composed by Thelonious Monk


Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, October 17, 1958


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

After a Roy Haynes/Max Roach-influenced drum break to open "Four in One," Elvin Jones declares his singular presence with his multi-layered approach of building broken-triplets (with his snare and bass drums) on top of his complete cymbal/hi-hat pattern (00:07). Elvin (and his many talented disciples) play this pattern so often that it's easy to forget how much skill it requires. Note the brief yet revealing polyrhythmic fill that giftedly turns the beat around at the conclusion of Lacy's improvisation (2:20-2:23). This is just a glimpse of the heightened focus on polyrhythm that would increasingly define Jones's playing. Also note Elvin's energetic, "try-to-find-beat-one!" fills during the fours section at the tune's conclusion.

Reviewer: Eric Novod

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