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Wheels by Oliver Lake
Released: May 2013
Label: Passin Thru
What got into Lake in 2013? The saxophonist has long been a steady bet, but this is the third fine release he's put out in six months. That it's a big band date full of meaty arrangements is extra sweet: Check the slow groove supporting the first fiery sax solo on "Is It Real." And while "Philly Blues" may not start with traditional changes, it gets up to some plenty good blues anyway. And the arrangement of Outkast's "The Whole World" does its source material proud. The mix of experimentalism and soul is in the tradition of Mingus and other '60s greats. But the sound belongs to today.
Seth Colter Walls

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