Ok, so I would say that this is one of the most mandatory destinations in the Avant-Jazz/Free Jazz spectrum. It’s an unsurpassed shocker of staggering originality, complexity, bridge-of-the-razor innovation & meticulous technical acumen. It also amalgamates both rash improvised wilderness & punctilious composition & instrumental-coordination fashioning both into an incredible consensus. The musicians, all exorbitant veterans of both virtuosity & arrant Off-Road/Avant-Garde are as follows – Oliver Lake on alto & soprano sax & flutes, Michael Gregory Jackson on electric guitar, Fred Hopkins on double-bass & Pheeroan ak Laff on drums. Continue reading Oliver Lake – Holding Together 12” LP
Well, yet again another seminal branch of Avant-Garde/Free Jazz history dashes up for definition. This is no normal moment/operation & the idiosyncratic ordinance & inordinate outpourings that these men bring really are entitled to their own throne room. Lake (sax), M G Jackson (guitar) & Pheeroan akLaff (drums) had been playing together for some years now & have adnated perfectly, cultivating a natural commune & affinity that can so deftly commingle & co-act. The instrumentation itself is pretty avant-garde as it is… sax, drums & electric guitar? In a Free-Jazz idiom? Not an every album occurrence (certainly back then), but the forces behind these instruments in no way devise in the typical territories.
Here’s a one of Lake’s more obscure/overlooked projections. I can’t see why as it’s another scintillating discharge of baroque densely detailed mellifluent odd & erratic Avant-Garde mastery that strolls it’s own disparate track with stark individuality. Core associates Pheeroan akLaff & Michael Gregory Jackson are once again entwined, performing two of the four trax as a trio with Lake on side two, & joined by the rather aberrant compository of three violins, a cello (bowed by the excellent Abdul Wadud) & a piano (Anthony Davis) for the A-side’s two tunes. Lake composes all tracks & they veer & contrast considerably between massively chaotic free-formations, highly melodious & abject atonal, soft & frenzied, coherent & agitated all with Lakes signature of super graceful amazingly controlled sapiential complexity & gigantic virtuosity.