Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Lowe, Frank

Lowe, Frank, tenor and soprano saxophone; b. Memphis, TN, 24 June 1943, died New York, NY, September 19, 2003

Though regarded as a free jazz player, he liked to swing and was a big fan of Lester Young and Wardell Gray. Studied music in junior high school, and sang in choir. He began on tenor at 12, in 1958 working for Stax Records, met many local musicians. Earliest serious study began as a teenager and continued through college (University of Kansas, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, as well as various private studies) and most importantly with musicians such as Bert Wilson, an extremely under-rated tenor saxophonist, Donald Garrett, a bass and reed player who contributed greatly to the music of John Coltrane. Traveled between NYC and San Francisco, and joined Sun Ra 1968 in N.Y. Returned to study classical music at San Francisco Conservatory.

He worked there in 1971 with Alice Coltrane, and Rashied Ali. He played with Archie Shepp, Milford Graves, Abdullah, Aboriginal Music Society and Don Cherry in N.Y. in the early '70s. Worked with own groups from the mid-70s, also with Lester Bowie, Bobo Shaw, Joseph Bowie, Anthony Braxton, Leo Smith, Butch Morris, Billy Bang and many others. He performed at Rutgers U.-Newark with this author in 1987. At the beginning of the 1990's he formed the band Saxemble with four saxophonists, including James Carter and Michael Marcus.

In addition to his son Yaphet, of Manhattan, Lowe is survived by another son, Frank Lowe III of Oakland, Calif.

Inappropriate Choices; Live From Soundscape; And His Friends (1973); Black Beings (1973); Fresh (1974); Flam (1975); Doctor Too Much (1978); Lowe and Behold (1979); Don't Punk It Out (1980); Exotic Heartbreak (1982); Skizoke (1982); Decision in Paradise (1984); Four, Five, Six; Down and Blue (2002)
As sideperson:
Alice Coltrane: World Galaxy

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