Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Oliver Lake with Christian Weber and Dieter Ulrich – For a Little Dancin’ (Intakt, 2010)

Alto saxophonist Oliver Lake has been getting some much deserved recognition of late, performing with Orrin Evans' far-reaching Tarbaby ensemble at recent jazz festivals, recording albums for his own Passin’ Thru label and cutting this lean and exciting trio set in the company of Christian Weber on bass and Dieter Ulrich on drums. The music recalls Lake’s work with the collective group Trio3 that also features Andrew Cryille and Reggie Workman, with strong and free rhythm work setting the stage and interacting fully with Lake’s tart alto saxophone. They delve into a little bit of everything on this set, which keeps the music consistently interesting, whether it is the brief free-jazz blowout of “Spots”, where the wild and wholly collective improvisation recalls the heady days of the Loft Jazz scene where Lake first made his mark, to the abstract “Rollin’ Vamp” which builds and improvises around the fulcrum of a repeated section. The title track “A Little Dancin’” even brings a little R&B into the mix, with a generous beat and some strenuous saxophone playing. The was a very well performed and varied set, Lake sounds deeply inspired by the music and solos with aplomb while Weber and Ulrich are ideal partners. Definitely an album to check out for open-eared jazz fans. For a Little Dancin' - amazon.com

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