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Frank Lowe


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A tenor saxophonist influenced by John Coltrane, Frank Lowe (b. 24 June 1943 - d. 9 Sept. 2003), a Memphis native who relocated from San Francisco to New York in 1966, participated in Alice Coltrane’s World Galaxy (November 1971) and Don Cherry’s Relativity Suite (February 1973).

After a creative Duo Exchange (September 1972) with percussionist Rashied Ali, Lowe debuted as a leader with Black Beings (March 1973), leading a quintet with saxophonist Joseph Jarman, bassist William Parker, violin and drums that careened through Lowe’s 25-minute In Trane’s Name and Jarman’s Thulani. After Fresh (March 1975), a skewed tribute to Thelonious Monk with trumpeter Lester Bowie, trombonist Joseph Bowie, cellist Abdul Wadud and drummer Charles Bobo Shaw, Lowe achieved his personal form of free-jazz on The Flam (october 1975), unleashing his energetic playing across the 14-minute Flam and the ten-minute Third St Stomp in the company of Joseph Bowie, trumpeter Leo Smith, bassist Alex Blake and Shaw.

A quartet with Butch Morris on cornet recorded Tricks of the Trade (December 1976), containing Navarro’s Tomorrow, and The Other Side (December 1976), while Olu Dara and Leo Smith on trumpets helped out on Doctor Too-Much (May 1977), containing his signature theme Doctor Too-Much. These recordings boasted a creative ebullience that harked back to the heydays of free jazz. Lowe began to move beyond free jazz with the eleven-piece orchestra (including Joseph Bowie, Butch Morris, Billy Bang, guitarist Eugene Chadbourne, alto saxophonist John Zorn) that he assembled for Lowe And Behold (October 1977).


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