When Oliver Lake Comes to Town
It’s been encouraging to see Oakland’s Duende restaurant keep up its support of creative music, and they’re kicking it up a notch with a four-night residency for saxophonist Oliver Lake, July 5 through 8.
It’s at least the second time Duende has done this in just a few months, after Nels Cline’s multiple-night, grand-opening performances. I don’t know how the economics work out, but it seems to be a good way to make a Bay Area stop worthwhile for an out-of-town artist. (Granted, Cline is from L.A., so a trip up here is relatively common for him.)
Duende has doggedly kept up support for avant-garde and creative music. Marco Eneidi’s trio played on June 27. Jon Raskin and Larry Ochs of ROVA have shows coming up in July. Positive Knowledge, the long-standing sax/poetry group with a rich mystical/spiritual vibe, has a Saturday night gig on July 20.
Mixed in there are plenty of more conventional jazz acts, which do seem like a better fit for Duende’s crowd and atmosphere. I don’t know how long Duende can keep up its musical chops, but I hope to savor the experience whenever I can.
Oh, right, Oliver Lake
But back to the original point. Lake is coming to California for two solo performance at the Healdsburg Center for the Arts on June 29, at 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. He’s accompanying a visual art exhibit called “Flying Home: Inspired by Jazz,” which apparently includes some of his own artwork.
Samples of Oliver Lake’s paintings and mixed-media work are on his web site, and you know what — they’re quite good and have a strong personality: colorful, slightly whimsical.
Healdsburg is well north of the Bay Area, up Highway 101. After that show, he’ll stay at the same latitude to play in Sacramento. He’ll be doing the July 1 installment of Nebraska Mondays, the series at Luna’s Cafe, performing with Ross Hammond (guitar), Dax Compise, and Mike Palmer.
After that, it’s off to Oakland and Duende:
* Fri., July 5 — Duo w/ Myra Melford
* Sat., July 6 — Trio w/ Phillip Greenlief & Ross Hammond
* Sun., July 7 — Duo w/ Roscoe Mitchell (They’re charging $25 for this one, rather than $15.)
* Mon., July 8 — Trio w/ Scott Amendola & Todd Sickafoose