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Byard Lancaster

Born William Byard Lancaster, 6 August 1942, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, multi-instrumentalist Lancaster (alto, tenor and soprano saxophones, flutes, clarinets, piano) was, with Sonny Sharrock, Dave Burrell and Eric Gravatt, part of a second generation of African-American “new jazz” players who viewed themselves as John Coltrane's spiritual heirs or “John's Children” as the title of an early Lancaster band song (written by Sharrock) insisted, committed to the same “healing” energies inherent in the jubilant scream.

Lancaster identified with secular screams, hence the motto on his business cards: From A Love Supreme To The Sex Machine And All In Between. In the 80s, following the demise of the French Palm label, which had championed his solo work, Lancaster was heard often as a star guest musician, playing loud and proud with Ronald Shannon Jackson's Decoding Society, Kip Hanrahan and Garrett List. In 2001, he teamed with saxophonist Odean Pope for the derivative but excellent Philadelphia Spirit in New York.

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