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Oliver Lake/Mathias Landæs/Kresten Osgood - Spirit (SFAR)

12 October 2023

Recorded in 2017, Spirit presents a live concert performed by saxophonist Oliver Lake, pianist Mathias Landæs, and drummer Kresten Osgood from a show in Lund, Sweden. Unsurprisingly for a project involving Lake, the results lean heavily into avant-garde jazz, with shifting rhythms, wandering melodies, fierce improvisations, and a program of the saxist’s compositions. Lake is given the most room to blow, his alto somehow managing to be lyrical and noisy at once. But that’s not to diminish the contributions of Landæs and Osgood – Lake wouldn’t have the flexibility he needs if not for the framework the Scandinavians construct, as loose as it is. The trio is at its best on the title track, a classic Lake composition that encapsulates the musicians’ approach – artistic, expressive, and free.