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Oliver Lake: Makin' It (2009)

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Oliver Lake: Makin' It How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Changing a few elements of a well known musical format may be all that is needed to create a new and fresh sound.

Makin' It, Oliver Lake has taken the old saxophone organ trio popularized in the 1950s by the likes of Ike Quebec
Ike Quebec
Ike Quebec
1918 - 1963
sax, tenor
and made it into a new vehicle for 21st century improvised music. He has replaced the tenor saxophone—the instrument traditionally associated with this combo—with his alto. Though he remains true to the gospel-inflected and bluesy sound of the older groups, he has injected a hefty dose of free improvisation into the music, pushing the boundaries of the music and flirting with the avant-garde.

Initially influenced by Eric Dolphy
Eric Dolphy
Eric Dolphy
1928 - 1964
reeds
, Lake has long developed his unique alto sound, which comes through loud and clear on this CD as his saxophone takes center stage. Supporting him are Jared Gold
Jared Gold
Jared Gold

organ, Hammond B3
on Hammond B3 organ, sounding like a modern day Larry Young
Larry Young
Larry Young
1940 - 1978
organ, Hammond B3
with a hint of "greasier" sounding organists such as Jack McDuff
Jack McDuff
Jack McDuff
1926 - 2001
organ, Hammond B3
and Jimmy McGriff
Jimmy McGriff
Jimmy McGriff
1936 - 2008
organ, Hammond B3
, and drummer Jonathan Blake, who maintains the trio's rhythm and provides the cadence for the others' solos like a talented musical timekeeper.

The compositions are primarily by Lake himself with a couple by trumpeter Malachi Thompson
Malachi Thompson
Malachi Thompson
b.1949
trumpet
and a traditional gospel piece, which closes the program. Despite a bit of repetition in musical themes around the middle of the record, this is a very stimulating session that successfully marries the soul-jazz format of the organ/saxophone/drums trio to freer improvisations and edgy avant-garde styles. Known for genre bending for most of his career, it's not a surprise that Oliver Lake is the musician who brings such a rewarding and exciting album.

Track Listing: In Walked John; Gano; Say Girl; Spirit Of Man; Nu Peace; Move Groove; Makin' It; Dedicated To B.C.; Olla's Blues; I Want To Walk With Jesus.

Personnel: Oliver Lake: alto saxophone; Jared Gold: Hammond B3 organ; Johnathan Blake: drums.

Record Label: Passin' Thru Records

Style: Modern Jazz


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