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Gene Lake

Gene Lake

While recording his first CD, Cycles (Passin’ Thru), at his home studio in Montclair, N.J., Gene Lake reflected on a song called “Face da Funk.” “I’d written that tune a while ago and the more I listened to it, I heard this space for a solo and I thought this would be a perfect spot for my father.” Of course, it helps that his father is Oliver Lake of the legendary World Saxophone Quartet. Was it a problem getting him for the solo? “Oh, no,” he says. “We live five minutes from each other.”

That song is one of 12 on Cycles, a mixture of pure funk, free-form fusion and bright melodies the 34-year-old dubs “Midwestern funk-fusion.” Unlike his father, Lake prefers the deep end of sound and is a drummer by trade who also plays the bass and programs a synthesizer to layer his sound. “I’ve been playing drums since I was 2,” Lake says. “I got my first drum set at 5.”

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