Tarbaby with Oliver Lake - Moods, Zurich, 14 May 2012
Oliver Lake has played in Zurich regularly over the past years... this was the fourth time I caught him, and I know of at least two concerts I've missed. Tarbaby is Orrin Evans (p), Eric Revis (b) and Nasheet Waits (d) and they're very powerful, very NYC tough - and very loud, too.
The tunes they did were pretty wild (I thought of Dolphy now and then), often rhythmically very tricky (I once thought of Monk very much, too), and left lots of space for free flights by Lake and Evans.
The biggest surprise to me was Revis, whom I've heard so far in mostly Wyntonite context... big sound, plenty of technique, lots of ideas, very good time and groove... he mixes with Waits and Evans very well. Evans was mostly in what seemed a McCoy bag... incorporating perfectly the tough, muscular, yet lyrical post-Coltrane/Tyner black music continuum.
Lake was all over the place, the first set could mostly be heard as in that Trane/McCoy tradition, I guess... but after the break they returned and shifted gears quite some, both in levels of energy and in style. They did some mean funk, with Lake overblowing his alto (no flute tonight, just alto) and going for broke each time he started to blow.
The most amazing thing though, all through the two sets, was watching and listening to Nasheet Waits... what a powerful, great drummer! Rather small set (bass drum, snare, hi-hat, one tom, the big tom standing on the floor, a ride, and one more big cymbal next to the ride, maybe a second ride, really?), sounding very good, and putting layer and layer of rhythm on top of each other... truly amazing, and all as good as I'd been expecting!