Disaster Amnesiac was happy to have made it to hoppin' downtown Oakland to catch saxophone master/poet Oliver Lake for night two of his four night residency at Duende. The evening's program featured Lake in duet with fellow woodwind player Phillip Greenlief and guitarist Ross Hammond.
Greenlief and Lake started things out, and their set's simpatico had them moving from extended techniques to Blues to gentle lyricism. I don't know if they have played together before, but Greenlief was clearly stoked, and Lake looked equally happy. They sounded great together. Disaster Amnesiac swears that I heard Lake intone a version of Jimi's Machine Gun at one point, but that may have been the effect of having drunk Coca Cola a bit too late in the day.
Next up, guitarist Ross Hammond brought his hollow bodied axe up to duel with Lake. Their vibe took a bit longer to build up, and, in a way, sounded more abstract, but Lake brought things home with his Florida-centered poem Is It Real, which launched the pair into some fine, earthy blowing, Lake's litany of great Native American place and tribe names being particularly evocative to this listener.
To round out the evening, Lake summoned Greenlief back to the stage, and the trio blew a great Blues, centered around Oliver's affirmation of the need to cohabit. Those in attendance seemed to enjoy living with its message.
Oliver Lake will be at Duende for two more nights this week. If you live anywhere near Oakland, CA, get over there and gift your ears.