Byard Lancaster

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Byard Lancaster
Birth name Byard Lancaster
Born (1942-08-06)August 6, 1942
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died August 23, 2012(2012-08-23) (aged 70)
Genres Jazz, Free jazz
Instruments Alto saxophone, flute
Years active 1960s—2012

Byard Lancaster (August 6, 1942 – August 23, 2012) was a jazz saxophonist and flutist.[1][2]

He attended two colleges, one of them for music, before eventually deciding to pursue an education at the Berklee College of Music, then moving to New York. In the city, he participated in loft jam sessions which included saxophonist Archie Shepp and drummer Elvin Jones.[2] In 1965, he recorded Sunny Murray Quintet with the album's eponymous musician in New York, performed in the Parisian Actuel festival with him in 1969, and has continued to work in the drummer's groups throughout his career. By the 1970s, Lancaster had played with musicians such as McCoy Tyner, Khan Jamal and Sun Ra, as well as some outside of the jazz idiom, including Memphis Slim and Johnny Copeland.[1][3] Near the end of his life he performed regularly with cellist David Eyges, and recorded as a leader and sideman for Creative Improvised Music Projects.[1][4] He died of pancreatic cancer on August 23, 2012.[5]


As leader[edit]

  • 1968: It's Not Up To Us (Vortex Records)
  • 1971: Live at Macalester College
  • 1974: Us (Palm Records)
  • 1974: Mother Africa (Palm)
  • 1974: Exactement (Palm)
  • 1977: Exodus (Philly Jazz)
  • 1979: Documentation: The End of a Decade
  • 1988: Lightnin' Strikes!
  • 1993: Worlds (Gazell)
  • 2001: Philadelphia Spirit in New York
  • 2005: A Heavenly Sweetness
  • 2008: Useless Education Promo Preview (fONKSQUISh featuring Byard Lancaster)

As sideman[edit]

With Sunny Murray

  • Sunny Murray Quintet (1966)

With Odean Pope

With Bill Laswell

  • Sacred System - Nagual Site (Wicklow/BMG, 1998)

With Arcana


  1. ^ a b c Cook, Richard. (2005). Richard Cook's Jazz Encyclopedia. New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-102646-4
  2. ^ a b Allen, Clifford. (2005). Byard Lancaster: From A Love Supreme to The Sex Machine. Retrieved January 5, 2008, from
  3. ^ Strauss, Neil (1997, July 4). Johnny Copeland, 60, who sang Texas Blues and played guitar. The New York Times.
  4. ^ (2006). Byard Lancaster - Creative Improvised Music Projects. Retrieved January 5, 2008, from
  5. ^ Dan DeLuca, Inquirer Music Critic. "Byard Lancaster, RIP". Retrieved 2012-08-24. 

External links[edit]