Pianist David Ake’s Bridges was one of the best jazz outings of 2013, featuring a gentle kaleidoscope of taut yet off-kilter compositions for a sextet consisting of his fellow California Institute of the Arts alumni and associates, including Ravi Coltrane, Ralph Alessi and Scott Colley. Lake Effect is equally satisfying but in a much different, more emotionally penetrating fashion. Since Bridges, Ake has moved back to his Midwestern roots, becoming the chair of the department of music at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. And last summer, he was jolted by the death of Charlie Haden, his musical mentor and the founder of the jazz program at CalArts. Both events affect the shape and purpose of the music here.
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