Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

251

Oliver Lake Big Band: Cloth

By

Sign in to view read count
Few musicians in the history of jazz have wielded as wide and diverse a palette as Oliver Lake. Cloth is his first recording as leader of a big band, an endeavor he has undertaken in order to focus more attention on his considerable skill as a composer and arranger.

The opener, "Cloth Two," is a reworking of the leader's tune "Cloth," which he first recorded with his Steel Quartet. The composition and arrangement display the tonal influence of Oliver Nelson with whom Lake studied briefly. Performed over a New Orleans style open snare drum line played by Otis Brown, the lush melody leads into a spare piano vamp by Michael Cochrane, followed by Ron Blake's robust baritone solo, before the leader embarks on a typically searing duet outing with drums, occasionally punctuated alternately by brass and saxophones. A short drum break precedes the reprise of the theme taken out with Winston Byrd's lead trumpet soaring over the ensemble. This is classic big band performance with a decidedly modern sound.

"M.I.L.D." is a plaintive piece dedicated to Lake's wife Marion, featuring tender solos from trumpeter Peck Almond, tenor saxophonist Erica Lindsay, trombonist Josh Roseman and pianist Cochrane. "Dedicated to Dolphy" is the album's longest and most ambitious piece, a suite of sorts, honoring the leader's primary influence on alto. The opening is reminiscent of "Out To Lunch," the second section more Milesian, with Almond's mute moving over Mark Helias' walking bass line before blowing up into smears and growls. There's also a guttural dialogue between Lake and fellow altoist Bruce Williams, a segment suggestive of the Sax Quartet, a straight ahead flute solo by James Steward and a powerful trombone outing from Joseph Bowie.

"'63 Impala" is another previously recorded Lake composition, newly arranged for big band. This version is a medium tempo vehicle for Williams' funky alto and Almond's mellifluous trumpet. "Round 2000" is a beautiful piece from that year that manages to evoke both feelings of sadness and optimism simultaneously. Cochrane, Helias and Lindsay each contribute moving solos. Cochrane again demonstrates his delicate touch on "Dance 6/8," which also features the excellent work of Byrd on flugelhorn and Marty Ehrlich on alto. The album's hit is "Bouncin' Back (Bumpin' Me Against The Wall)," Lake's funky arrangement of the song by the rap group Mystikal that sampled Ellington. This rousing rendition, suggestive of "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" again features a Lake-Williams conversation backed by the screaming sax and brass sections.

The disc ends with "Creole Talkin'," the band's theme song from its recent dates at Sweet Rhythm. It's another bouncing flag waver, one that alternates straight ahead swinging passages with cacophonous group improvisations. Dramatic tension is released by the band's resumption of the melodic line slightly ahead of the beat, a difficult dynamic task executed perfectly, much to the satisfaction of its wildly enthusiastic live audiences. Listeners at home should be no less impressed.


Track Listing: Cloth Two; M.I.L.D.; Dedicated to Dolphy; '63 Impala; Round 2000; Dance 6/8; Bouncin' Back (Bumpin' Me Against the...; Creole Talkin'.

Personnel: Mark Helias: bass; Oliver Lake: alto sax; Baikida Carroll: trumpet; Erica Lindsay: tenor sax; Peck Allmond: trumpet; Ron Blake: baritone sax; Joseph Bowie: trombone; Michael Cochrane: piano; Josh Roseman: trombone; Jimmy Steward: flute, tenor sax; Alan B. Paterson: trombone; Duane Eubanks: trumpet; Winston Byrd: trumpet; Aaron Johnson: trombone.

Title: Cloth | Year Released: 2003

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Warning: include(/data/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/content/article.php on line 68

Warning: include(): Failed opening '/data/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php5:/data/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html:/usr/share/php') in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/content/article.php on line 68

More Articles

Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Vertical CD/LP/Track Review Vertical
by Don Phipps
Published: January 16, 2018
Read In Stride CD/LP/Track Review In Stride
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Solid Gold CD/LP/Track Review Solid Gold
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 15, 2018
Read Ts'iibil Chaaltun CD/LP/Track Review Ts'iibil Chaaltun
by Don Phipps
Published: January 15, 2018
Read "The Heart Of Infinite Change" CD/LP/Track Review The Heart Of Infinite Change
by Walter Atkins
Published: October 28, 2017
Read "Kalamazoo" CD/LP/Track Review Kalamazoo
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 2, 2017
Read "You Already Know" CD/LP/Track Review You Already Know
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 7, 2017
Read "Hallways" CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Sabiduria/Wisdom" CD/LP/Track Review Sabiduria/Wisdom
by James Nadal
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "Two" CD/LP/Track Review Two
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 23, 2017