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Matador of 1st & 1st

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Album Review

On this unusual set, Oliver Lake is heard solo, playing alto and a bit of soprano and flute, reciting poetry, telling stories, and covering a lot of topics in his philosophical and occasionally witty monologues. Whether it be the lack of black music on MTV, the constantly evolving English language, the difficulties of being Superman, the value of George Clinton, or humorous looks at his trips abroad, Lake shows that not only is he a talented musician but a first-rate commentator too. This set is certainly for selective tastes but listeners with an interest in both jazz and spoken word monologues will find much to savor here.


Born: 14 September 1942 in Marianna, AR

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

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...
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Matador of 1st & 1st, Oliver Lake
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