Thursday, May 21, 2009

Oliver Lake Trio : Zaki (1979)

It's probably evident to the three or four of you who actually read this blog (as opposed to those of you who only mine it for the download links and then leave without a by-your-leave -- hello? Hello?) that I have a sentimental attachment to the mid-to-late 1970s period of creative improvisational music. All was bleak in the world of pop music until punk happened, but it was plenty lively in jazz, what with all those dozens of hip Arista Freedom albums making it to these shores for the first time, Braxton at his friendliest and Miles at his most impenetrable, tons of flourishing small labels turning up in the bigger record store, and, not least, Oliver Lake, who was able to record a lot in those days -- both his own projects and as part of the World Saxophone Quartet.

No one sounded like this trio then, and no one else has since.
These guys sounded like they were perfectly mindful of every note the others played, and it all fits together like a mosaic. Even at its most out, the music is spacious enough to offer plenty of points of entry.

Still in print, if not always easy to find. Pricey, but you should buy it anyway.

Oliver Lake: ss, as, ts
Michael Gregory Jackson: g
Pheeroan akLaff: dr

  1. Zaki (24:55)
  2. Clicker (10:21)
  3. Shine (14:17)
  4. 5/1 (5:28)
  5. Zaki (1:32)

Recorded September 1st, 1979 live at Jazzfestival Willisau '79
320 kbps mp3 from Hat ART 6113 (later re-issued as hat OLOGY 639)

UPDATE: An excellent audience recording of the same trio a week later, available here. The fidelity isn't as good, but the performance is even better.


Festoonic said...

Anonymous said...

This really was an amazing group. I've always loved Oliver's bands (Trio 3 now!!), but like you said, these 70's records are something special.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you! My favorite Wildflowers cut was this groups. I'm also a big fan of 70's Lake - Heavy Spirits is another favorite. Great Blog.

il angelo said...

This cd still defies. I listened to it non stop when it was issued to never be sure I got everything that was going on there (a good sign). akLaff is simply amazing and gregory jackson much missed. Good moment te regain the feeling. Thanks

E S said...

Thanks for a recording that i didn't know of a group that i have always admired. i read something somewhere saying that the OL trio is going to reform - for a tour and a recording.
Life dance of Is, shine and Holding Together are other interesting recordings released by this group back in the 1970s. And the first two are available on this blog

Don't miss Michael gregory jackson's opus "gifts" available on this blog …

Old Saxophone Joe said...

Thanks for this. Your write up makes it sound quite tempting.

vsense said...

Challenging, but well worth it.


Free2bMe said...

I have just begun to mine as you say for incredible music and this is my first comment. Thank you so much for what you have offered. I too remember the joys of this period of jazz. Wonderful to find some of these sounds again. Perhaps sometime when I understand the tech better and overcome my fears I can offer some sounds some day as well. Thank you again. Your efforts are appreciated.

Anonymous said...

First, thanks for all the posts. This joy must be shared. I couldn't agree more with the thoughts on 70s jazz. So spiritual, so joyous, so completely connected with the glorious history of the form. A true golden age.
I have always felt M.G. Jackson and Blood Ulmer were the top, with Jackson severely under recognized. said...

Thanks for sharing !!