Oliver Lake

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Oliver Lake
Oliver Lake.jpg
Lake performing in 2007
Background information
Born (1942-09-14) September 14, 1942 (age 75)
Marianna, Arkansas, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Saxophone
Years active 1971–present
Labels Freedom, Passin' Thru, Black Saint, Arista Novus, Gramavision, Intakt
Associated acts World Saxophone Quartet
Website www.oliverlake.net

Oliver Lake (born September 14, 1942) is an American jazz saxophonist, flutist, composer and poet. He is known mainly for alto saxophone but he also performs on soprano and flute.[1]

During the 1960s Lake worked with the Black Artists Group in St. Louis. In 1977 he founded the World Saxophone Quartet with David Murray, Julius Hemphill, and Hamiet Bluiett. He has worked in the group Trio 3 with Reggie Workman and Andrew Cyrille. He is the father of drummer Gene Lake.

Lake has been a resident of Montclair, New Jersey.[2]

Awards and honors


As leader

  • 1971: Ntu: Point from Which Creation Begins (Freedom)
  • 1974: Passin' Thru (Passin' Thru)
  • 1975: Heavy Spirits (Freedom)
  • Oliver lake live in Rome 2006
    Oliver lake live in Rome 2006
    1976: Holding Together (Black Saint)
  • 1976: Joseph Bowie/Oliver Lake (Sackville)
  • 1978: Shine (Arista Novus)
  • 1978: Life Dance of Is (Arista Novus)
  • 1978: Buster Bee (Sackville)
  • 1979: Zaki (Hat Art)
  • 1980: Prophet (Black Saint)
  • 1981: Jump Up (Gramavision)
  • 1981: Clevont Fitzhubert (Black Saint)
  • 1982: Plug It (Gramavision)
  • 1984: Expandable Language (Black Saint)
  • 1986: Gallery (Gramavision)
  • 1986: Dancevision (Blue Heron)
  • 1987: Impala (Gramavision)
  • 1988: Otherside (Gramavision)
  • 1991: Again and Again (Gramavision)
  • 1992: Boston Duets (Music & Arts)
  • 1992: Virtual Reality (Total Escapism) (Gazell)
  • 1994: Edge-ing (Black Saint)
  • 1996: Dedicated to Dolphy (Black Saint)
  • 1996: Matador of 1st & 1st (Passin' Thru)
  • 1996: Movements, Turns & Switches (Passin' Thru)
  • 2000: Talkin' Stick (Passin' Thru)
  • 2000: Kinda' Up (Passin' Thru)
  • 2001: Have Yourself A Merry (Passin' Thru)
  • 2003: Cloth (Passin' Thru)
  • 2004: Dat Love (Passin' Thru)
  • 2005: Oliver Lake Quartet Live (Passin' Thru)
  • 2006: Lake/Tchicai/Osgood/Westergaard (Passin' Thru)
  • 2008: Makin' It (Passin' Thru)
  • 2010: Plan (Passin' Thru)
  • 2011: For a Little Dancin' (Intakt)
  • 2013: Wheels (Passin' Thru)
  • 2013: All Decks (Intakt)
  • 2015: To Roy (Intakt)

With Trio 3

With World Saxophone Quartet

Title Year Label
Point of No Return 1977 Moers
Steppin' with the World Saxophone Quartet 1979 Black Saint
W.S.Q. 1981 Black Saint
Revue 1982 Black Saint
Live in Zurich 1984 Black Saint
Live at Brooklyn Academy of Music 1986 Black Saint
Plays Duke Ellington 1986 Elektra / Nonesuch
Dances and Ballads 1987 Elektra / Nonesuch
Rhythm and Blues 1989 Elektra / Nonesuch
Metamorphosis 1991 Elektra / Nonesuch
Moving Right Along 1993 Black Saint
Breath of Life 1994 Elektra / Nonesuch
Four Now 1996 Justin Time
Takin' It 2 the Next Level 1996 Justin Time
Selim Sivad: a Tribute to Miles Davis 1998 Justin Time
Requiem for Julius 2000 Justin Time
25th Anniversary: The New Chapter 2001 Justin Time
Steppenwolf 2002 Justin Time
Experience 2004 Justin Time
Political Blues 2006 Justin Time

As sideman

With Anthony Braxton

With Alex Cline

With Billy Hart

With Michael Gregory Jackson

With Wadada Leo Smith

With James Blood Ulmer

With Mulgrew Miller


  1. ^ Allmusic biography
  2. ^ "The State of Jazz: Meet 40 More Jersey Greats", The Star-Ledger, September 28, 2003, backed up by the Internet Archive as of September 27, 2008. Accessed September 15, 2017. "Oliver Lake -- Lake, a longtime resident of Montclair, is a formidable alto saxophonist and composer of the jazz avant-garde."

External links

  • Official website
  • Portraits of Oliver Lake by Dominik Huber / dominikphoto.com
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