Heavy Spirits is an album by American jazz saxophonist Oliver Lake, which was recorded in 1975 and released on the Arista Freedom label. The album features Lake playing in different settings: three quintet tracks with Olu Dara on trumpet, Donald Smith on piano, Stafford James on bass, and Victor Lewis on drums, three more tracks with Lake backed by three violinists, a trio piece with trombonist Joseph Bowie and drummer Charles "Bobo" Shaw, and a solo sax piece.

Heavy Spirits
Heavy Spirits cover.jpeg
Studio album by
RecordedJanuary 31 & February 3, 1975
LabelArista Freedom
ProducerMichael Cuscuna
Oliver Lake chronology
Passin' Thru
Heavy Spirits
Holding Together


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [1]
The Penguin Guide to Jazz    [2]

In his review for AllMusic, Scott Yanow states "This will be one of the least accessible of altoist Oliver Lake's recordings for most people but repeated listenings reveal a great deal of beauty."[1]

The Penguin Guide to Jazz says "Heavy Spirits seems, at this distance, like a relic of an exciting period in the American avant-garde.. Hit and miss, but untempered and often intriguing."[2]

Track listingEdit

All compositions by Oliver Lake except as indicated
  1. "While Pushing Down Turn" – 11:50
  2. "Owshet" – 5:43
  3. "Heavy Spirits" – 2:55
  4. "Movements Equals Creation" – 1:33
  5. "Altoviolin" – 2:32
  6. "Intensity" – 2:23
  7. "Lonely Blacks" (Julius Hemphill) – 3:45
  8. "Rocket" – 9:25
  • Recorded at C.I. Recording Studio, New York City on January 31, 1975 (tracks 1-3, 8) and Music Designer Studios, Boston on February 3, 1975 (track 4-7)



  1. ^ a b Yanow, Scott. Oliver Lake – Heavy Spirits: Review at AllMusic. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Cook, Richard; Brian Morton (2002). The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD. The Penguin Guide to Jazz (6th ed.). London: Penguin. p. 875. ISBN 0140515216.