The news that Trio 3 will be playing St. Louis next week offers a welcome excuse to look at some video clips of the group, which includes St. Louis native Oliver Lake on saxophones along with bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Andrew Cyrille. Their performance is being presented by the Nu-Art Series on Saturday, September 19 at Luna Bar, which is next to Bar Italia at 13 Maryland Plaza in the Central West End.
Of course, many, if not most, St. Louis jazz fans already know Lake, and he's made it back home several times in recent years to perform, both on his own and with the World Saxophone Quartet.
However, he's never played here with Trio 3, though the group has been together nearly 20 years. Moreover, while Workman and Cyrille both have had long, varied and distinguished careers, neither has an extensive history of performing in St. Louis. (Nu-Art's George Sams told me that Workman has played here at least once before, in the late 1960s with Bobby Hutcherson. As for Cyrille, as best as can be determined, this may be his debut performance in St. Louis.) So the chance to see and hear these guys, both individually and collectively, is something of a rare occurrence.
Today's first video is an excerpt from a 2005 performance in Montclair, NJ, where Lake now resides. The location is obviously a church, but otherwise is unspecified. There's no indication of a song title either, but the piece does show off Workman's big sound, Lake's plaintive tone and nimble riffing and Cyrille's polyrhythmic approach to the drums.
The second clip is from the other side of the world, recorded during the group's performance in 2008 at the Taichung Jazz Festival in Taiwan. Workman once again gets a fat sound, and once things get rolling both Lake and Cyrille are considerably more aggressive than in the first video.
The third and final clip is a segment from the New Jersey public television program State of the Arts. It features some performance footage of Trio 3 at NYC's Sweet Rhythm, but it's mostly a biographical interview with Lake, in which he talks about his career and music; starting out in St. Louis; how he got together with Workman and Cyrille; and more.