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Oliver Lake: Movement, Turns and Switches

Among the major figures in the ’70s experimental scene, alto saxophonist/composer Oliver Lake continues to evolve. He’s composed all six of the pieces on this CD for groups ranging from a duo with pianist Donal Fox and violinist Regina Carter to a septet composed of a string quartet, alto sax, bass and congas. Other tracks feature Lake with the string quartet and with a string quartet plus trumpeter Kenyatta Beasley. There’s plenty of improvisation on these selections, but it’s blended seamlessly into the written passages.

Although associated with the free jazz movement, Lake and other participants here base their improvisation on pre-set structures for the most part, e.g. chord changes on “Fan Fare Bop” and “Reminds Me,” and cells of notes and an ostinato figure on “Movement, Turns and “Switches.” There’s modal based improvising on “Maasai Moves.” “Aztec Tu” does contain open improvisation by Lake, and the mostly written “Input” has a free collective improvisation section.

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