Amazon.com Widgets

Recent Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Oliver Lake / Christian Weber / Dieter Ulrich: All Decks

Read "All Decks" reviewed by

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’

Read "For A Little Dancin’" reviewed by

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

Read "Oliver Lake Solo: San Diego, December 17, 2010"

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

Read "Makin' It" reviewed by

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

Read "Makin' It" reviewed by

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

Read "Vision Festival 2008: Day 3"

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

Read "Zaki" reviewed by

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. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Oliver Lake: Zaki

Read "Zaki" reviewed by

Reissued on the excellent grounds that it contains music which deserves to be listened to today, Zaki was recorded live at Jazz Festival Willisau in 1979. Although saxophonist Oliver Lake had been a member of soon-to-be festival favorites, the World Saxophone Quartet since 1977, he was still little known outside the U.S. and Willisau was one of his first important European gigs. In 1979 he performed there with WSQ and with his trio.

Both performances made Europe sit up and listen. Lake's trio with guitarist Michael Gregory Jackson and drummer Pheeroan akLaff had been working together since 1975 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Oliver Lake: Lake/Tchicai/Osgood/Westergaard

Read "Lake/Tchicai/Osgood/Westergaard" reviewed by

It is often difficult to transcribe onto a CD the electricity of a live performance, but alto saxophonist Oliver Lake does it with ease on Lake/Tchicai/Osgood/Westergaard. In 2003, Lake completed a brief tour of Denmark with tenor saxophonist John Tchicai, drummer Kresten Osgood and bassist Jonas Westergaard. They immediately went into the studio afterwards, the product of which is this release on Lake's Passin' Thru record label. The disc is an invigoratingly spiritual record whose compositions range from avant-garde swing to tribal chants. Osgood begins the first track, “Azurite, with a nimble tribal beat, which Lake and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Oliver Lake Quartet: Live

Read "Live" reviewed by

If you listen to a record long enough, you may find yourself liking it more than you did on first listen. But listening to this live session from the Knitting Factory in May, 2001 repeatedly still does not help Native American wood flutist Mary Redhouse's trilling, whistling, flute playing, which strangely enough often sounds like her own howling vocals. “Naisiai is a traditional Navajo chant that melds Redhouse's wailing vocals and meandering flute notes. As the second track on the disc, the ethereal tune sets the tone for the record, which is angular, fully “out there improvisation. ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Oliver Lake: From Which Freedom Continues

Read "Oliver Lake: From Which Freedom Continues"

It's not a term to toss around, but sometimes it fits. Oliver Lake, one could say with little worry of hyperbole, is a renaissance man. Best known as an original member of the longstanding World Saxophone Quartet, he is also an organizer with a sense for business--from founding the Black Artists Group (BAG) in St. Louis in the '60s to running his own label, Passin' Thru. He's a painter and a poet, a monologist and observer of the human condition. Nestled away in a beautiful old house in Montclair, NJ, a home filled with paintings and dark wood paneling, he ...

LIVE REVIEWS

A Welcome Reunion with Oliver Lake, Gregory Jackson and Pheroan Ak Laff

Read "A Welcome Reunion with Oliver Lake, Gregory Jackson and Pheroan Ak Laff"

Bernard Lyons, the affable English organizer of the continually outstanding concert series at Baltimore's An Die Musik, welcomed the audience and introduced the duet of saxophonist Oliver Lake and guitarist (Michael) Gregory Jackson. Although drummer Pheroan Ak Laff was present for the first set, “he has a hygiene issue, went to his hotel to shower and does not have a watch. With a mixture of laughter and alarm, the small audience applauded and the musicians in attendance began their meditative and engaging conversation.I am unable to explain why only 12 listeners attended the second set on a Friday ...

INTERVIEWS

Meet Oliver Lake

Read "Meet Oliver Lake"

St. Louis musical rootsMy mother owned a restaurant with a juke box that had a lot of blues, rhythm and blues. That may have piqued my interest. When I was in high school I got interested in the drum and bugle corps. A lot of members of the corps were playing jazz. That really got me into wanting to play jazz. I met a lot of young musicians who were adept at their instruments at an early age. I gravitated toward them immediately. Later on in high school I started playing jazz, but I didn't get serious until ...

INTERVIEWS

Oliver Lake: Jazz is a Music of Exploration

Read "Oliver Lake: Jazz is a Music of Exploration" reviewed by

Not too many artists today can encompass so many different interests and musical styles within their work as is the case with Oliver Lake. He is a poet, painter, performance artist and also one of the better-known representatives of modern jazz. As a musician, he started his career in the 60's as part of the Black Artist Group, but he is mostly known for his work with the World Saxophone Quartet, a group that has seen unprecedented success for a free-jazz ensemble. Furthermore, he demonstrates his broadly diverse musical interests through fronting bands and formations such as Trio 3, Oliver ...



Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Mort Weiss

Mort Weiss

About | Enter

Rotem Sivan

Rotem Sivan

About | Enter

Michael Carvin

Michael Carvin

About | Enter

Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash

Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash

About | Enter

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW

Community Members

Join our growing community of
writers, musicians, visual artists and advocates.

Join Us Today!

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

A musician was found with a matching name

Name:

Birthday:

Instrument:

Is this you?