All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

405

Oliver Lake: Zaki

By

Sign in to view read count
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.

The reissue of Zaki, a 1979 performance from a concert in Willisau, Switzerland, given by the relatively short-lived Oliver Lake Trio (Lake on alto, tenor and soprano saxophones, Michael Gregory Jackson on electric guitar and Pheeroan akLaff on drums), exemplifies the musical ambition and non-commerciality for which the label is today known. Without a bass to anchor the rhythm, Lake, Jackson and akLaff turn the typical musical triangle on its tip, with Lake and Jackson trading lines and ideas as equals on top of the rhythmic support supplied by the drummer. The continual hoarseness in the sound of each of Lake's horns infuses his parts with urgency, while Jackson's runs are dexterous and nimble. There is an implicit egalitarianism in this trio's spontaneity and interaction.

Without a doubt, this recording captures a special concert by a band that wasn't together for too long. But it's also true that the music was created on a night many years ago. The question reissues raise is this: should free jazz continually look to its past for its innovation, or are there musicians today making music at this level of artistry and creativity? With its new releases, hatOLOGY answers yes to the question, but reissues like Zaki guard against forgetting how we got here.

Track Listing: Zaki; Clicker; Shine; 5/1; Zaki.

Personnel: Oliver Lake: alto, tenor and soprano saxophones; Michael Gregory Jackson: electric guitar; Pheeroan akLaff: drums.

Title: Zaki | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Hatology

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Right Up On

Right Up On

Passin' Thru Records
2017

buy
To Roy

To Roy

Intakt Records
2015

buy
Hexaphone

Hexaphone

Rudi Records
2014

buy
 

All Decks

Enja Records
2013

buy
For A Little Dancin’

For A Little Dancin’

Intakt Records
2011

buy

Related Articles

Read Alive In The East? CD/LP/Track Review
Alive In The East?
by Chris May
Published: June 22, 2018
Read Love Stone CD/LP/Track Review
Love Stone
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 22, 2018
Read Empty Castles CD/LP/Track Review
Empty Castles
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 22, 2018
Read Myths and Morals CD/LP/Track Review
Myths and Morals
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 22, 2018
Read The Sum Of My Pardon CD/LP/Track Review
The Sum Of My Pardon
by Jim Olin
Published: June 22, 2018
Read Postcard Collection CD/LP/Track Review
Postcard Collection
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 21, 2018
Read "My Love" CD/LP/Track Review My Love
by Chris Mosey
Published: September 28, 2017
Read "Code Girl" CD/LP/Track Review Code Girl
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 13, 2018
Read "Heaven On Their Minds" CD/LP/Track Review Heaven On Their Minds
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 16, 2017
Read "Pneuma" CD/LP/Track Review Pneuma
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: January 24, 2018
Read "Fragments" CD/LP/Track Review Fragments
by John Sharpe
Published: May 7, 2018
Read "Man No Longer Me" CD/LP/Track Review Man No Longer Me
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: December 2, 2017