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The 1972 Avignon concerts were Steve Lacy’s very first solo concerts, although he did make an excellent overdubbed solo record for Saravah the year before. (For ‘solo’ read ‘alone’ or ‘unaccompanied’ rather than the usual music business meaning of ‘very accompanied’.) Thanks to an introduction by John Stevens, I first met Lacy when he visited London in 1973. He brought with him some of the Avignon tapes in order to try and interest a record producer to issue this music. However, record producers were generally not then interested in such radical concepts as solo saxophone records. When Lacy played me some of this music, I instantly decided to fulfil a long held ambition to become a record producer. Lacy revisited London early in 1974 and spent an enjoyable week staying with us (my wife, Madelaine, and me) in order to work on this project as well as having some stimulating conversations. He had previously selected the material for two sides of an LP (tracks 1–8 in this collection), which we had copied in his desired sequence on to two master tapes.
Getting the LP pressed was not a pleasant experience as there was a shortage of good vinyl in 1974. The test pressing sounded as though he was recorded in a hail storm – there being no drummer to cover up the noise – but that was the best that could be done at the time. [Later on, it both amused and bemused me when certain collectors insisted on getting a first edition, even though it was so noisy.] Also, we received several phone calls from the pressing plant stating that there must be something wrong with the tapes as they could hear some completely different music in the background of one track! Thus was Emanem born. Having recently listened to the whole of the two 1972 Avignon concerts, I must say that Lacy chose extremely well, so his original selection has been left intact as the first eight tracks of this compilation...(Martin Davidson, 2011)