Oliver Lake

Genres: Jazz
Decades Active: 1980s 1990s 2000s


Oliver Eugene Lake, 14 September 1942, Marianna, Arkansas, USA. Lake’s family moved to St. Louis, Missouri in 1943. He played in high school, but only applied himself seriously to alto saxophone at the age of 20. Lake worked in R&B and soul bands with Lester Bowie, then formed his own group with Floyd LeFlore (trumpet) and Leonard Smith (drums). In 1968, he received a BA in music education from Lincoln University and taught music in St. Louis schools for three years. During this time he became a founder member of the Black Artists Group (BAG) and co-ordinated exchange concerts with Chicago’s AACM. He studied arrangement and composition with Oliver Nelson and bass player Ron Carter. In 1972, he joined other BAG members in Paris, played with Anthony Braxton and explored electronic music.

Lake relocated to New York in September 1973, but returned to Paris to record Passing Thru, a solo alto saxophone record with a sax/synthesizer...

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