Lounge Lizards, the
- Sean Lorre
American jazz group. It was founded by saxophonist/actor/model/artist John Lurie in 1979 as a “fake jazz” exponent of the Downtown New York and No Wave arts movement. The Lounge Lizards’ mostly instrumental work draws from late-1970s jazz fusion, punk, and avant-noise experimentalism mixed with a healthy dose of self-conscious irony, most often taking shape as collective improvisations over minimalist, Mingus-like forms. The group garnered much critical acclaim but little commercial success during its 20-year tenure, drawing most of its fan base from New York, Europe, and Japan. Originally featuring Lurie (alto and soprano saxophone), brother Evan Lurie (keyboards), Arto Lindsay (guitar), Steve Piccolo (bass), and Anton Fier (drums), the Lizards’ lineup became a virtual revolving door of personnel with Lurie as its only constant. By 1984, the band solidified into its best-known roster featuring John and Evan Lurie, Roy Nathanson (saxophones), Curtis Fowlkes (trombone), Marc Ribot (guitar, banjo, and trumpet), Erik Sanko (electric bass), and Douglas Bowne (drums), a configuration that lasted the rest of the decade....