The Lounge Lizards
|The Lounge Lizards|
Cover of The Lounge Lizards 1981 self-titled album
|Origin||New York City|
|Genres||Jazz, punk jazz, avant-garde jazz|
The Lounge Lizards are a jazz group formed in 1978 by saxophonist John Lurie and his brother, pianist Evan Lurie. In American slang, a "lounge lizard" is typically depicted as a well-dressed man who frequents the establishments in which the rich gather with the intention of seducing a wealthy woman with his flattery and deceptive charm.
Drawing on punk rock and no wave as much as jazz, The Lounge Lizards have since become respected for their creative and distinctive sound. In October of 1986, Robert Palmer of The New York Times wrote "the Lounge Lizards...have staked their claim to a musical territory that lies somewhere west of Charles Mingus and east of Bernard Hermann and made it their own."
The initial Lounge Lizards line-up consisted of John and Evan Lurie, guitarist Arto Lindsay, bassist Steve Piccolo, and percussionist Anton Fier. They recorded a self-titled album on EG Records records in 1981. The album included two Thelonious Monk covers, but as one critic noted, "the two aforementioned Monk covers seem a strange choice when you actually hear the band, which has more in common with sonic experimentalists like Ornette Coleman or Sun Ra." 
By the mid-1980s a new line-up included bassist Erik Sanko, trombonist Curtis Fowlkes, guitarist Marc Ribot, saxophonist Roy Nathanson, and percussionists Dougie Bowne and E.J. Rodriguez. This group recorded various live and studio albums, and showcased John Lurie's increasingly sophisticated and multi-layered compositions. 
In 1998 the band released The Queen of All Ears on John Lurie's Strange and Beautiful Music label, and had added Steven Bernstein, Michael Blake, Oren Bloedow, David Tronzo, Calvin Weston, and Billy Martin to its ranks. "The Lizards' music isn't jazz," said Fred Bouchard of JazzTimes, "but it is intelligent and rhythmically and harmonically interesting (it ain't rock either, in other words) and, despite the ultra-hip trappings, it has an almost innocent directness that can transcend stylistic prejudice." 
Recent years have found the Lounge Lizards less active. John Lurie has been increasingly occupied with painting, while Evan has worked on The Backyardigans, a children's show that highlights multiple musical genres.
- John Lurie - alto/soprano saxophone
- Evan Lurie - piano, organ
- Arto Lindsay - guitar
- Steve Piccolo - bass
- Anton Fier - drums
- Dana Vlcek - guitar
- Danny Rosen - guitar
- Peter Zummo - trombone
- Dougie Bowne - drums
- Roy Nathanson - saxophone
- Curtis Fowlkes - trombone
- Marc Ribot - guitar, trumpet, Eb horn
- Erik Sanko - bass
- E.J. Rodriguez - percussion
- Brandon Ross - guitar
- Al MacDowell - bass
- Calvin Weston - drums
- Michael Blake - saxophone
- Steven Bernstein - trumpet
- Billy Martin - percussion
- Jane Scarpantoni - cello
- Bryan Carrott - marimba, vibes
- Michele Navazio - guitar
- Oren Bloedow - bass
- David Tronzo - guitar
- Ben Perowsky - percussion
- Tony Scherr - bass
- Doug Wieselman - guitar, clarinet
- Mauro Refosco - percussion
- John Medeski - organ
- Kenny Wollesen - drums
- Danny Blume - guitar
- Clark Gayton - trombone
|No Pain for Cakes||1987|
|Voice of Chunk||1988|
|Queen of all Ears||1998|
|Live from the Drunken Boat||1983|
|Big Heart: Live in Tokyo||1986|
|Live in Berlin, Vol. 1||1993|
|Live in Berlin, Vol. 2||1993|
- Safire, William. "On Language". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-06-28.
- Carruthers, Sean. "Lounge Lizards". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-01-24.
- Huey, Steve. "Lounge Lizards". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-01-24.
- Bouchard, Fred. "The Lounge Lizards Queen of All Ears". JazzTimes. Retrieved 2013-01-24.
- "John Lurie Art". Retrieved 2013-01-24.