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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Oliver Lake / Christian Weber / Dieter Ulrich: All Decks

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So successful was the off-the-cuff meeting that produced For A Little Dancin' (Intakt, 2010) that American reedman Oliver Lake once again renewed acquaintance with the Swiss pairing of drummer Dieter Ulrich and bassist Christian Weber at Zurich's unerhört Festival. But this time out they rang the changes by adding German trombonist Nils Wogram. So far so normal, but it's about as far from a star and pick up band as you can get. Lake, renowned as a founder member of the pioneering World Saxophone Quartet and the still current Trio 3, willingly subsumes himself to a democratic group ethos which ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Oliver Lake / Christian Weber / Dieter Ulrich: For A Little Dancin’

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Alto and soprano sax man Oliver Lake has been a key member of a trio with bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Andrew Cyrille in the past. That band, sometimes with the addition of a pianist, has been responsible for some of this century's most compelling small group jazz. This alto sax-bass-drums trio thus has a lot to live up to, but live up to it they do with For A Little Dancin', and not least because they're a trio whose collective endeavor is shot through with a rarefied level of energy and commitment. They're no mere copycat ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Oliver Lake Solo: San Diego, December 17, 2010

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Oliver Lake Sushi Performance and Visual Arts San Diego, CA December 17, 2010 Saxophonist, composer, poet and painter Oliver Lake stands at the top of his profession alongside such giants as his contemporaries, multi-instrumentalists Anthony Braxton, and Roscoe Mitchell. His solo concert at Sushi Performance and Visual Arts was the final installment of adventurous curator Bonnie Wright's excellent “Fresh Sounds" series. Lake doesn't perform solo concerts all that often, so this was a rare opportunity to hear the man's music in the most intimate setting possible. Lake emerged in the public ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Oliver Lake: Makin' It

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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 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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Oliver Lake Organ Trio: Makin' It

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This album finds alto saxophonist Oliver Lake in a groovesome incarnation, less disposed than usual towards avant exploration. He's utilizing the classic Hammond organ construction, though without any guitarist in sight. It's just Lake, B3 man Jared Gold and drummer Johnathan Blake, getting pretty close to the expectations of a '60s formula, though still surprising with a few sideways tweaks. The session is produced by Lake's son Jahi, capturing a fully pulsing sound throughout, solid, warm and fruity. “In Walked John" makes a bold opener, the first of two numbers written by the departed Chicagoan trumpeter Malachi Thompson, ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Vision Festival 2008: Day 3

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Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6

Oliver Lake New Quintet Project James Spaulding Swing Expressions Bluiett's Bio-ElectricEnsemble of Possibilities

13th Annual Vision Festival Clemente Soto Velez, New York City June 12, 2008

Among the many attributes of the Vision Festival, one of those which makes it unique is the emphasis on all of the arts, not just the stellar avant-garde jazz for which it is most renowned. So to accompany the roster of acts on the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Oliver Lake: Zaki

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Jazz music continually tries to outpace the long shadow cast by its past. On the one hand, it's the music of the vanguard, an art form built on a spirit of risk-taking and experimentation. On the other, the progressive spirit started with Charlie Parker and extended by Ornette Coleman (and several others) seemed to have stopped short with John Coltrane's death in 1967. But in the mid 1970s, Switzerland's hatHUT label persevered, survived and even thrived in waters markedly outside the music's mainstream by, above all, offering the decade's top free jazz talent artistic liberty and a commitment of support. ...



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