Oliver Lake, composer, saxophonist, poet and the first African American to be commissioned by Library of Congress and McKim Foundation for composition, is perhaps best known as a member of the famous World Saxophone Quartet. His compositions are at the Smithsonian and were on the recommended list of recordings by president Clinton, and he is quoted as one of the most outstanding alto saxophonists living today.
The idea to form a band with the steel pan had its origin in 1997, at the time Lake got in touch with the most recommended steel drummer of the moment, Lyndon Achee. With Pheeroan AkLaff (drums) and Reginald Washington (electric bass), Lake was ready to continue exploring deep inside Caribbean dance patterns, the experiment he started with his ?80s reggae/jazz fusion group Jump Up. The difference in the sound between these two Lake's projects enlightens the way his accent shifted from interpreting and matching Caribbean moods to make a point of stepping away from them.
The Quartet's tinny sound drifts attention to its rhythmic complexity and improvisation patterns; the absence of a harmonic instrument somehow keeps those inaudible harmonics hanging above the bar-lines. The overall impression: Oliver Lake Steel Quartet takes you places in an adventurous, daring but fun ?tin capsule'.