R.I.P.: Byard Lancaster, 1942-2012
Philadelphia jazz saxophonist and flautist Byard Lancaster died Aug. 23 from pancreatic cancer. He was 70. Lancaster was a spiritual, questing instrumentalist who’d played with some of the most inventive avant-garde musicians ever, such as Sun Ra, McCoy Tyner, Sunny Murray, and Khan Jamal. In the decades that followed his early fame, he became a local institution, playing saxophone and flute on the streets, in subway concourses, and at clubs around the city. Porter Records has reissued a lot of his gripping music; it’s never too late to explore.