Frank Lowe

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Frank Lowe
Background information
Birth nameFrank Lowe
Born(1943-06-24)June 24, 1943
Memphis, Tennessee, United States
DiedSeptember 19, 2003(2003-09-19) (aged 60)
New York City, New York, United States
GenresFree jazz, avant-garde jazz
Instrument(s)Tenor saxophone
Years active1960s–2002
LabelsArista Freedom, Bird Notes, Debut, ESP-Disk, Impulse!, Marge

Frank Lowe (June 24, 1943 – September 19, 2003) was an American avant-garde jazz saxophonist and composer.[1]


Born and brought up in Memphis, Tennessee, Lowe took up the tenor saxophone at the age of 12.[2] As an adult he moved to San Francisco, where he met Ornette Coleman.[3] Coleman suggested Lowe visit to New York City, which Lowe did, and he began playing with Sun Ra and then Alice Coltrane,[4] with whom he recorded in 1971.[5] Unusually for the jazz culture at the time, Lowe had had no extended apprenticeship or slow paying-of-dues: one moment he was an amateur, and the next he was playing with the late John Coltrane's rhythm section. With Alice Coltrane he recorded World Galaxy in 1971.[3]

Lowe began recording with his own group in 1973, with his album Black Beings, on ESP-Disk.[6]

Lowe was a tenor saxophonist who was extremely influenced by the first and second waves of free jazz throughout the 1960s. His composition "Spirits in the Field" was performed on Arthur Blythe's 1977 album, The Grip.

On September 19, 2003, he died of lung cancer.[1] His legacy was a varied body of recordings and memorable performances.


As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Alice Coltrane

With Billy Bang

With Don Cherry

With Joe McPhee


  1. ^ a b "Frank Lowe | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
  2. ^ Yanow, Scott (2003). Jazz on Record: The First Sixty Years. Backbeat Books. p. 716. ISBN 0879307552.
  3. ^ a b Ratliff, Ben (2008). Coltrane: The Story of a Sound. Macmillan. ISBN 9781429998628.
  4. ^ Wilmer, Val (1977). As Serious as your Life. Quartet. p. 136. ISBN 0-7043-3164-0.
  5. ^ "Frank Lowe discography". Retrieved 2010-07-26.
  6. ^ Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Who's Who of Jazz (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 261. ISBN 0-85112-580-8.