Here is a true horn of the elders and an audacious prophet of free jazz.
Oliver Lake is one of the real innovative saxophonists in jazz and inheritor of the genius of his greatest inspiration, Eric Dolphy.
He turns 70 this year and is still blowing his message with a powerful invention and beauty.
Born in Marianna, Arkansas, he moved to St Louis as a two-year-old and at school soon showed a talent for drawing and painting, as well as playing bass drum in local drum and bugle corps.
At 17 he turned to jazz and during the '60s worked with the Black Artists Group (BAG) and, later, the Chicago-based Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), a potent catalyst for free music.
Lake migrated to New York in the '70s and established himself as the leading free jazz horn, in 1977 becoming one of the founder members - with Julius Hemphill, David Murray and Hamiet Bluiett - of the World Saxophone Quartet, in which he still plays.
A succession of fine and innovative albums began in 1977 with his Point Of No Return.
Recent years have seen Lake turning to a new formation of veteran virtuosi, Trio 3, alongside two other formidable and hugely experienced musicians.
One is the bassist Reggie Workman, born in Philadelphia in 1937.
An extraordinary eclectic, he was part of the John Coltrane Quartet through much of 1961 before moving to the hard-bop world of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers between 1962 and 1964. More recently he has embraced much freer modes, as his 1995 album Cerebral Caverns reveals.
The other co-veteran is drummer Andrew Cyrille, born in New York in 1939, whose astonishing versatility stretches from playing with the great saxophone-founder of jazz Coleman Hawkins to his decade with the piano-playing seer of the avant-garde Cecil Taylor.
These extraordinary versatile jazz pioneers are joined on the album Celebrating Mary Lou Williams by pianist Geri Allen, born in 1957 in Pontiac, Michigan.
Allen has accompanied the Supremes and recorded and toured with the eternally rebellious Ornette Coleman.
The pioneering woman they are celebrating was born in Atlanta in 1910 and died in 1981 after a lifetime of riveting jazz as pianist, composer and arranger.
She worked with band leaders from the master of swing Andy Kirk in the '30s and Duke Ellington and Dizzy Gillespie in the '40s. In the '50s she formed a foundation to help musicians suffering from hard times and psychological distress.
Allen remembers hearing her play in Washington while she was a student.
"I remember her carriage and grace, her powerful command of the instrument," she recalls, while Cyrille writes of her "feeding my spirit and young mind with musical techniques, ideas and concepts" as if she were his sonic mother.
Their profoundly beautiful record came from a performance at the Birdland Jazz Club in New York in August 2010 which featured seven of Mary Lou's tunes.
The opener is Blues for Peter and this quartet's version tears away the years with some searing passages from Lake and some daring piano pathways from Allen which Williams herself - who in 1977 recorded the famous duet album Embraced with the free piano hierophant Taylor - would have fully appreciated.
Allen's notes are almost spectral on Ghost of Love and Workwan plunges deep before Lake enters for some eerie choruses. Cyrille's rolling drums mark the passage on New Musical Express and Lake's locomotive is fleeting and rapid.
No steam here, this train has other fuel and energy and its 14-minute journey crosses into a milennium that Mary Lou never knew, propelled by Allen's springing chords and keyboard speed. But the driver is the mighty Cyrille and his solo resonates with steel and skin.
What's Your Story, Morning Glory was Mary Lou's most celebrated composition and "story" is the key word, for each of the foursome adds their own life-narrative to the summation, begun by Lake's unaccompanied prologue, then Allen's piano tale and Workman's heartbeat chronicle with Cyrille's universal thud.
Lake is at his freest with Intermission. He sizzles while he creates, his notes teem with history - Mary Lou's, his own and those of his companions - before a burning solo from Allen, as Mary Lou and all the unknown and unrecognised women in jazz spring from her keys.
For if Mary Lou makes this performance one from a quintet, a huge orchestra of women burst out of its sounds - from Workman's subterranean strings, Cyrille's earthen drums and Lake's throbbing, cosmic horn.
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