OLIVER LAKE

Avant-Garde Jazz / Post Bop / Third Stream / Progressive Big Band / Funk Jazz / Pop/Art Song/Folk / Latin Jazz • United States
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Oliver Lake is an explosively unpredictable soloist, somewhat akin to Eric Dolphy in the ultra-nimble manner in which he traverses the full range of his main horn, the alto. Lake's astringent saxophone sound is his trademark -- piercing, bluesy, and biting in the manner of a Maceo Parker, it was a perfect lead voice for the World Saxophone Quartet, the band with which Lake has arguably made his most enduring music.

Lake began playing drums as a child in St. Louis. He first picked up the saxophone at the age of 18. Lake received his bachelor's degree in 1968 from Lincoln University. From the late '60s to the early '70s he taught school, played in various contexts around St. Louis, and led -- along with Julius Hemphill and Charles "Bobo" Shaw, among others -- a musicians' collective, the Black Artists' Group (BAG). Lake lived in Paris from 1972-1974, where he
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Oliver Lake - Complete Recordings on Black Saint & Soul NoteOliver Lake - Complete Recordings on Black Saint & Soul Note
Box set · Remastered
BLACK SAINT / SOUL NOTE 2013
$28.68
Lake Tchicai Osgood WestergaardLake Tchicai Osgood Westergaard
Passin' Thru Records 2007
$12.95
$18.93 (used)
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OLIVER LAKE Discography

OLIVER LAKE albums / top albums

OLIVER LAKE Passing Thru album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Passing Thru
Avant-Garde Jazz 1974
OLIVER LAKE Heavy Spirits album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Heavy Spirits
Avant-Garde Jazz 1975
OLIVER LAKE NTU: Point from which Creation Begins album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
NTU: Point from which Creation Begins
Avant-Garde Jazz 1976
OLIVER LAKE Holding Together album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Holding Together
Avant-Garde Jazz 1976
OLIVER LAKE Buster Bee (with Julius Hemphill) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Buster Bee (with Julius Hemphill)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1978
OLIVER LAKE Life Dance Of Is album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Life Dance Of Is
Avant-Garde Jazz 1978
OLIVER LAKE Shine! album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Shine!
Avant-Garde Jazz 1979
OLIVER LAKE Oliver Lake Quartet ‎: Clevont Fitzhubert (A Good Friend Of Mine) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Oliver Lake Quartet ‎: Clevont Fitzhubert (A Good Friend Of Mine)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1981
OLIVER LAKE Oliver Lake Quintet ‎: Prophet album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Oliver Lake Quintet ‎: Prophet
Avant-Garde Jazz 1981
OLIVER LAKE Jump Up album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Jump Up
Funk Jazz 1982
OLIVER LAKE Plug It album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Plug It
Pop/Art Song/Folk 1983
OLIVER LAKE Oliver Lake Quintet ‎: Expandable Language album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Oliver Lake Quintet ‎: Expandable Language
Avant-Garde Jazz 1985
OLIVER LAKE Gallery album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Gallery
Post Bop 1986
OLIVER LAKE Dancevision album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Dancevision
Funk Jazz 1986
OLIVER LAKE Impala album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Impala
Avant-Garde Jazz 1987
OLIVER LAKE Otherside album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Otherside
Post Bop 1988
OLIVER LAKE Again And Again album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Again And Again
Avant-Garde Jazz 1991
OLIVER LAKE The Oliver Lake Quartet : Virtual Reality (Total Escapism) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Oliver Lake Quartet : Virtual Reality (Total Escapism)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1992
OLIVER LAKE Oliver Lake Quartet ‎: Edge-ing album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Oliver Lake Quartet ‎: Edge-ing
Avant-Garde Jazz 1994
OLIVER LAKE Oliver Lake Quintet ‎: Dedicated To Dolphy album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Oliver Lake Quintet ‎: Dedicated To Dolphy
Post Bop 1996
OLIVER LAKE The Oliver Lake String Project ‎: Movement, Turns & Switches album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Oliver Lake String Project ‎: Movement, Turns & Switches
Third Stream 1997
OLIVER LAKE Matador of 1st & 1st album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Matador of 1st & 1st
Avant-Garde Jazz 1997
OLIVER LAKE Oliver Lake Quintet ‎: Talkin' Stick album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Oliver Lake Quintet ‎: Talkin' Stick
Avant-Garde Jazz 2000
OLIVER LAKE Kinda' Up album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Kinda' Up
Post Bop 2000
OLIVER LAKE Have Yourself a Merry... album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Have Yourself a Merry...
Pop/Art Song/Folk 2001
OLIVER LAKE Oliver Lake Big Band ‎: Cloth album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Oliver Lake Big Band ‎: Cloth
Progressive Big Band 2003
OLIVER LAKE Oliver Lake Steel Quartet ‎: Dat Love album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Oliver Lake Steel Quartet ‎: Dat Love
Latin Jazz 2004
OLIVER LAKE Oliver Lake Quartet Live album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Oliver Lake Quartet Live
Avant-Garde Jazz 2005
OLIVER LAKE Lake / Tchicai / Osgood / Westergaard album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Lake / Tchicai / Osgood / Westergaard
Avant-Garde Jazz 2006
OLIVER LAKE Oliver Lake Organ Trio With Jared Gold And Johnathan Blake ‎: Makin' It album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Oliver Lake Organ Trio With Jared Gold And Johnathan Blake ‎: Makin' It
Avant-Garde Jazz 2008
OLIVER LAKE Oliver Lake Organ Quartet ‎: Plan album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Oliver Lake Organ Quartet ‎: Plan
Avant-Garde Jazz 2010
OLIVER LAKE For A Little Dancin' (with Christian Weber / Dieter Ulrich) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
For A Little Dancin' (with Christian Weber / Dieter Ulrich)
Avant-Garde Jazz 2010
OLIVER LAKE Oliver Lake Big Band ‎: Wheels album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Oliver Lake Big Band ‎: Wheels
Progressive Big Band 2013
OLIVER LAKE Oliver Lake Organ Quartet : What I Heard album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Oliver Lake Organ Quartet : What I Heard
Avant-Garde Jazz 2014
OLIVER LAKE Oliver Lake / William Parker : To Roy album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Oliver Lake / William Parker : To Roy
Avant-Garde Jazz 2015
OLIVER LAKE Oliver Lake Featuring FLUX Quartet ‎: Right Up On album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Oliver Lake Featuring FLUX Quartet ‎: Right Up On
Third Stream 2017
OLIVER LAKE The OGJB Quartet : Bamako album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
The OGJB Quartet : Bamako
Avant-Garde Jazz 2019

OLIVER LAKE EPs & splits

OLIVER LAKE live albums

OLIVER LAKE Zaki album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Zaki
Avant-Garde Jazz 1992
OLIVER LAKE Boston Duets (with Donal Leonellis Fox) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Boston Duets (with Donal Leonellis Fox)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1992
OLIVER LAKE All Decks (with Christian Weber, Dieter Ulrich, Nils Wogram) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
All Decks (with Christian Weber, Dieter Ulrich, Nils Wogram)
Avant-Garde Jazz 2013
OLIVER LAKE Generations Quartet : Flow album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Generations Quartet : Flow
Avant-Garde Jazz 2016

OLIVER LAKE demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

OLIVER LAKE re-issues & compilations

OLIVER LAKE Compilation album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Compilation
Avant-Garde Jazz 1990
OLIVER LAKE The Complete Remastered Recordings On Black Saint And Soul Note album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Complete Remastered Recordings On Black Saint And Soul Note
Avant-Garde Jazz 2013

OLIVER LAKE singles (0)

OLIVER LAKE movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

OLIVER LAKE Reviews

OLIVER LAKE Oliver Lake Featuring FLUX Quartet ‎: Right Up On

Album · 2017 · Third Stream
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
kev rowland


Oliver Lake is showing no signs at all of slowing down, even though he released his debut album as long ago as 1974, and continues to play and record with a variety of ground-breaking jazz groups. He has been working with the Flux quartet since 2002, and this album is their first collaboration together. Somewhat unusually, this isn’t a collaboration in the sense one would normally expect, but instead features The Flux Quartet performing seven of Oliver’s compositions for string quartet, and he only joins them on alto sax for three of these.

The result is something that is grounded in jazz, but with real avant-garde and classical stylings. This is as abrasive as it is compelling, and while never easy to listen to has a depth and breaking soul that cries out to be heard. I have never heard strings played as harshly as this, the beguiling sound one normally expects is nowhere to be heard, and instead we have music that wouldn’t be out of place on a kitsch Seventies Italian horror noir. This certainly isn’t music for the fainthearted, yet for those who are brave enough to keep turning this up there is a very special world indeed to be discovered. To my poor old jaded ears this is fresh, invigorating, compelling and immediate. From the first note to the very last I was intrigued and excited, as these musicians combine to create something incredibly significant.

OLIVER LAKE Oliver Lake / William Parker : To Roy

Album · 2015 · Avant-Garde Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
Sax player Oliver Lake and bassist William Parker are two of a few still active 70s New York lofts' jazz musicians,true living legends. Here on "To Roy" (album dedicated to trumpeter Roy Campbell,passed away in 2014)them two are recorded together in studio for the first time ever. Even if drumless/pianoless duo isn't a conventional format,music presented is really full-bodied and quite accessible.

Both Lake and Parker represent same former lofters wing - their music has been always well structured,post-bop rooted with great balance between composed and improvised.Here on "To Roy" even quite minimalist acoustic bass/sax duo surprisingly offers lot of melodies and memorable tunes. From very first sounds one can hear that characteristic Lake soulful sax soloing and memorable Parker's vertical bass constructions.

As on many other both musicians' most successful recordings main secret is same on this album - they never let listener to stay bored even for a moment. On a composition which flows like well-cooked song with memorable tune right when one doesn't expect any surprises they add free solo,often quite explosive. What starts as free form improvisation still before you will start loosing your attention switches to beautiful sentimental melody with almost straight rhythm. Eleven members originals take 50 minutes - again not too much to become annoying. Nothing strange though - both Lake and Parker are known as masters of making even quirkiest improvisational music attractive.

Not the album for newcomers - better start form every artist's album where they play with larger band, but really great release for those who already know and love their music.

OLIVER LAKE Oliver Lake Big Band ‎: Wheels

Album · 2013 · Progressive Big Band
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
Some of the most creative jazz music going down these days is coming from musician/composers working with large ensembles and Olive Lake’s recent “Wheels” for big band is no exception. Although this isn’t Lake’s first album for big band, it’s the first one I’ve been able to hear and I was immediately struck with what a unique composer and arranger he is. I’ve read other reviews of this album and people mention Ellington and other known band leaders and certainly Ellington’s tone colors are here, especially as handed down from his followers such as Mingus, Sun Ra and Henry Threadgill, but there is something entirely different going on with Lake’s approach. From Ellington to the present, big band arrangers tend to use rhythmic riffs scored for a certain section of the band that interact with riffs from other sections and so on. You get some of that on “Wheels”, but much of Oliver’s arrangements use stoic blocks of sounds moving in slow sequences, rather than the expected swingin riffs. Even the melodic material on here often consists of masses of tones stacked in thick chords that move deliberately together, and its this minimal and almost stark approach that makes “Wheels” such an intriguing and unique listen, as well as a real ground breaker when it comes to a modern take on big band arranging.

The arrangements on here are surprising and unique, but the real stars are the soloists, particularly Lake and fellow saxophonists Darius Jones and Jason Marshall. The solo style on “Wheels” is very intense and expressive with sonic flights into the upper realms of the avant-garde. Some soloists go it alone, while there are also plenty of sections for free group interplay, including a couple sections where the whole orchestra goes off at once as in the freedom heyday of the late 60s. On many tunes, Lake’s arranged blunt tone colors for the band are not much more than a brief outline so that the improvisers can have as much freedom as possible.

As mentioned earlier, much of the arrangements on here are very sparse and aescetic and more similar to an avant-garde concert hall 3rd stream type creation, but there are couple tunes that get on the more funky side of things. “Philly Blues” is your Monk flavored slightly off-kilter hard bop jam and “The Whole World” is an Outkast cover that sounds like the sort of exaggerated circus like tune favored by guys like Mingus or Henry Threadgill. The middle section of the “Wheels Suite” presents a ballad like tune, but it too sounds strangely reduced to its barest elements.

It took me a little while to get used to Lake’s approach on “Wheels”, but the more I listen, the more I’m interested. This is top notch current jazz that often borders on the avant-garde, but is always handled with a modern sophistication and cool. Possibly “Wheels” is the missing link in an unlikely connection between Ellington’s smooth elegance and Xennakis’ blunt constructions.

OLIVER LAKE NTU: Point from which Creation Begins

Album · 1976 · Avant-Garde Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
“NTU: Point from which Creation Begins” was Oliver Lake’s first album and found him mining similar territory that a lot of other young new jazz stars were digging at this time. Equal parts; post bop, fusion, free jazz and psychedelic hippie jam, Lake fit right in with a crowd that included Pharoh Sanders, Donald Byrd and Herbie’s Sextet and its many spin off groups as well. The album opens with “Africa”, an excellent psychedelic groove number that will have many thinking classic Pharoh Sanders. The follow up, “Tse Lane”, is a post bop number that suffers from a slightly out of tune acoustic piano and playing that sounds distracted after the focus of the first number. The band doesn’t really come together on this one.

Side two opens with “Electric Freedom Colors”, after a lengthy Chicago style pointillist noise section (Joeseph Bowie, Don Moye and other AACM types have a strong presence here), the band hit’s a slow groove and guitar phenom Richard Martin takes over. Martin uses a non-distorted natural jazz tone sound, but also adds variable reverb depth for a slight psychedelic touch and just rips on some of the most fierce outside lines this side of Sonny Sharrock and Pete Cosey. The following “Eiree” is quiet and abstract, yet tense as the band interjects sounds that point to what’s to come. On the album closer, “Zip”, the band goes for the classic avant-garde jugular with an all-out free blowing session and keeps things interesting by passing around the solos before the whole band joins in for the final onslaught.

Another great album from that classic early 70s era when so many young musicians were taking in everything from Coltrane to Hendrix, and Stockhausen too.

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