|The recordings presented here by Lake, Weber and Ulrich, are convincing for different reasons. They show the three musicians in an intensive exchange, jumping across generations and continents. Lake, who was born in Arkansas in 1942, is thirty years older than Weber, while Ulrich, born in 1958 is almost exactly in the middle between the two. But they are of equal stature and speak the same musical language. All three of them have at their disposal a vernacular which has absorbed, and continuously develops, the traditions of Blues, Soul and R & B, Bebop, Modern and Free Jazz as well as Rock.
The statements of the trio are immensely rich in variety and open. Tight riffs and gripping ostinato figures alternate with meandering strips of sound. At one point the musical expeditions start off from short, dry patterns, then again a surprisingly singable, danceable theme takes centre stage. The music is dense, urgent, wide awake. It is, paradoxically, at the same time ecstatic and clear, spaced-out and near. It is intelligent but totally non academic and immensely colourful.
“Pure Jazz is a contradiction in itself”, Oliver Lake once said. For him, it is about a continuous transformation process. With his edgy, pithy tone he manages to create, again and again, what Whitney Balliett, a pioneer of Jazz journalism, has called the “Sound of Surprise”. Christian Weber and Dieter Ulrich are both precise workers as well as passionate expressive artists, and as such of a similar calibre to Lake. Let’s hope that this energetic trio gets together much more often in the times to come!