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Oliver Lake

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Born in Marianna, Arkansas in 1942, Oliver moved to St. Louis at the age of two. He began drawing at the age of thirteen (and paints daily, using oil, acrylics, wood, canvas, and mixed media), and soon after began playing cymbals and bass drum in various drum and bugle corps. At 17, he began to take a serious interest in jazz. Like many other members of BAG and its Chicago-based sister organization, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), Lake moved to New York in the mid-'70s, working the fertile ground of the downtown loft scene and quickly establishing himself as one of its most adventurous and multi-faceted artists. A co-founder of the internationally acclaimed World Saxophone Quartet with Hemphill, Hamiet Bluiett and David Murray in 1977 (and recently celebrating its 26th anniversary with an album of Jimi Hendrix pieces for Justin Time Records), Oliver continued to work with the WSQ and his own various groups - including the groundbreaking roots/reggae ensemble Jump Up - and collaborating with many notable choreographers, poets and a veritable Who's Who of the progressive jazz scene of the late 20th century, performing all over the U.S

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Article: Album Review

Step In: Voilà La Tendresse

Read "Voilà La Tendresse" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


Step In is the international trio of Italian pianist Carlo Morena, Chilean drummer Felix Lecaros, and the renowned New York bassist Joe Fonda. Morena and Fonda started playing together in 1990, later adding drummer Jeff Hirshfield and adapting the current trio name. George Schuller later replaced Hirshfield before Lecaros took over the throne. Voilà La Tendresse ...

19

Article: Interview

From Aimless to Activist, Bassist Kevin Ray Lands on Higher Ground

Read "From Aimless to Activist, Bassist Kevin Ray Lands on Higher Ground" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


Bassist Kevin Ray has recorded or played with John Stubblefield, Oliver Lake, Greg Osby, Andrew Hill, Marty Ehrlich, Elliott Sharp, John Hicks, Hamiet Bluiett and Nels Cline. Ray has performed in the premieres of works by Joe McPhee, Leroy Jenkins and others. The bassist co-leads the adventurous trio 10³²K's with trombonist/trumpeter Frank Lacy, percussionist Andrew Drury ...

12

Article: Album Review

Mario Pavone / Dialect Trio +1: Blue Vertical

Read "Blue Vertical" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


Bassist and composer Mario Pavone died on May 15, 2021, after a seventeen-year battle with cancer. The Connecticut native had many interests and earned a degree in engineering, a Doris Duke Foundation grant and, for a quarter-century, shared his wisdom and talent with kids at the Litchfield Performing Arts Jazz Camp, where he also served as ...

27

Article: Building a Jazz Library

Instrumental Duos

Read "Instrumental Duos" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


The early days of jazz were not always harmonious. Converted dance orchestras often sounded like unbalanced acoustic junkyards; a single violin, cornet, trombone, clarinet, tuba, drums, banjo, and piano, all fighting for attention. The piano was meant to be the glue holding the shrill and boisterous elements together. In 1921 a prodigy pianist named Zez Confrey ...

8

Article: Album Review

Julius Hemphill: The Boyé Multi-National Crusade For Harmony

Read "The Boyé Multi-National Crusade For Harmony" reviewed by Mark Corroto


There is something inherently objectionable when a billionaire acquires an artistic masterpiece by say, Leonardo DaVinci or Claude Monet, only to sequester it from public view. You might feel the same about Julius Hemphill's recordings Dogon A.D. (Mbari, 1972) and 'Coon Bid'ness (Arista/Freedom, 1975). Both five star recordings, now out of print, cost a small fortune ...

3

Article: Album Review

Michael Gregory Jackson: Frequency Equilibrium Koan

Read "Frequency Equilibrium Koan" reviewed by Troy Dostert


One of the undersung elder statesmen of the jazz avant-garde, guitarist Michael Gregory Jackson played a vital role in the burgeoning loft scene of the 1970s, where his work with Oliver Lake was especially noteworthy. On albums like Lake's Holding Together (Black Saint, 1976) and Zaki (hatOLOGY, 1979), Jackson brought a deep reservoir of influences, not ...

8

Article: Album Review

Aki Takase: Auge

Read "Auge" reviewed by John Sharpe


While it might be Aki Takase's name which grabs the attention thanks to her illustrious track record, the trio on Auge represents a true co-operative, as the Berlin-based Japanese pianist joins forces with Swiss bassist Christian Weber and German drummer Michael Griener in a perfectly balanced triumvirate. Takase draws on an ouevre which ...

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News: Festival

Arts For Art Presents Vision Festival: Healing Soul - October 8 – 12 @ La Plaza At The Clemente, NYC Limited In-Person Tickets & Livestream

Arts For Art Presents Vision Festival:  Healing Soul -  October 8 – 12 @ La Plaza At The Clemente, NYC Limited In-Person Tickets & Livestream

“In the dark of these times, art lights the way,” says Patricia Nicholson Parker, co-founder of Arts for Art (AFA). Nicholson, William Parker and AFA team have reimagined the renowned Vision Festival as a limited-capacity outdoor event with a professionally filmed livestream. Vision Festival: Healing Soul will begin Thursday, October 8 at 7:00pm ET with a ...

News: Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Oliver Lake

Jazz Musician of the Day: Oliver Lake

All About Jazz is celebrating Oliver Lake's birthday today! Born in Marianna, Arkansas in 1942, Oliver moved to St. Louis at the age of two. He began drawing at the age of thirteen (and paints daily, using oil, acrylics, wood, canvas, and mixed media), and soon after began playing cymbals and bass drum in various drum ...


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