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RIP Philly jazz legend Byard Lancaster

Photo via George Manney www.geosound.com

We received sad news this morning that jazz legend Byard Lancaster passed away yesterday. Born in Philadelphia on August 6, 1942, Lancaster attended the Settlement Music School in 1959 and he attended Germantown High School with pianist Kenny Barron. Lancaster attended the Berklee School of Music and while his primary instrument was alto saxophone he was an accomplished multi-instrumentalist who performed with ELvin Jones, Archie Shepp, McCoy Tyner, Sun Ra and others. Lancaster was also a member of Sonny Murray’s free jazz group in the mid-Sixties. According to Lancaster’s wikipedia he passed away of pancreatic cancer. Philly musician and music historian George Manney was a fan of Lancaster’s and recorded a video of Lancaster performing at World Cafe Live in 2007 that you can watch below. Below that, listen to “Last Summer” from Lancaster’s essential 1968 release It’s Not Up To Us