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Frank Lacy & the Smalls Legacy Band: Live at Smalls

There has never been a jazz label quite like SmallsLIVE, now up to 40 titles and counting, all exclusively dedicated to documenting one club and scene. In this tiny basement dive at 183 West 10th in Greenwich Village, the culture is new-generation bop, and the players, mostly young, spill their guts. SmallsLIVE recordings stick you smack in the Smalls moment, the sweaty, noisy crowd close around you, the horns blaring in your face, a few feet away.

This Frank Lacy release opens with his tune “Stranded,” a confrontational two-note anthem over a hammering groove. Trumpeter Josh Evans spits flame and tenor saxophonist Stacy Dillard rockets out of the ensemble and flies. Pianist Theo Hill is also ferocious, his left hand crashing, his right spewing and splashing ideas.

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