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Ben Goldberg's Homage to Steve Lacy

Clarinetist Ben Goldberg is a key figure in the Bay Area improvisational scene, where he became known in the early 1990s as a member of the New Klezmer Trio.

A few years before that, he'd become friends and studied informally with clarinetist-turned-soprano-saxophonist Steve Lacy. Goldberg's new album, The Door, The Hat, The Chair, The Fact, is a memorial to Lacy, who died two years ago. It shows how well Goldberg understands his subject.

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Kevin Whitehead is the jazz critic for NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Currently he reviews for The Audio Beat and Point of Departure.