The Mooche – Steve Lacy

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The Mooche – Steve Lacy


Duke Ellington’s tune The Mooche, composed in 1928, belongs to an era that spawned many other atmospheric classics such as Luis Russell’s Call of the Freaks and Don Redman’s Chant of the Weed. Fifty years later the menacing undertone of The Mooche was seized upon by saxophonist Steve Lacy and turned into an unforgettably raw version on his 1978 album Points (which I bought on vinyl when it first came out) in which he duets on soprano with Steve Potts, delivering the haunting minor-key theme with a sound like knives being sharpened.

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