Charles Lloyd and Sangam Musical Instrument Museum Phoenix, Arizona March 9, 2014 Saxophonist Charles Lloyd, who has continually reinvented his musical style since the late 1960s, delivered a deluge of sound and rhythm changes in a spell-binding concert that integrated avant-garde jazz with elements of Asian and Eastern European music. Performing with tabla master Zakir Hussain and percussionist Eric Harland, the acoustic union known since 2004 as Sangam created free-flowing invention. Lloyd, 75, mostly played tenor sax, but also alto flute, piano and tarogato, a western Asia/eastern European wooden horn. Lloyd employed minor ...read more
Festival International de Jazz de MontréalMontréal, CanadaJune 28-July 7, 2013After taking a year off to curate an All About Jazz Presents: Doing It Norway at Norway's 2012 Kongsberg Jazz Festival, it was great to return to the city that hosts what must surely be the largest jazz festival in the world. Where else can an artist like Stevie Wonder open up the festival with an outdoor Grand Spectacle, in front of nearly a quarter of a million people? Or guitarist Pat Metheny finish his world tour in support of Pat Metheny Group's last record, 2005's The Way ...read more
ECM's Old & New Masters Edition series was not just created to bring material back into print. Some has been available on CD before, but an even bigger carrot for fans of the label is material that has never been on compact disc, like bassist Arild Andersen's three 1970s recordings, collected on Green in Blue (2010), or first-time full two-CD reissues of double albums like guitarist Terje Rypdal's Odyssey (1975), which also includes a previously unreleased live set, or pianist Chick Corea's live duo recording with vibraphonist Gary Burton, In Concert (1980), collected in the Crystal Silence--The ECM Recordings 1972-1979 ...read more
Saxophonist/composer Charles Lloyd's 16 albums for ECM since the late 1980s represent a body of work as important as the influential recordings he made for Columbia and Atlantic in the 1960s. Lloyd's recordings with his latest quartet, Rabo de Nube (2008), Mirror (2010), Athen's Concert (2011) and, now, Hagar's Song, stand together as a special chapter in Lloyd's ECM story for the often transcendental quality of the music. Pianist Jason Moran has been an integral part of Lloyd's quartet since 2007, and here the two perform intimate renditions of songs beloved by Lloyd, plus a captivating 26-minute suite.Faithful ...read more
Looking back at Charles Lloyd's sizable discography as a leader, what's becomes immediately clear is that the saxophonist has shared a number of special, long-term musical relationships with pianists: first, Keith Jarrett, in the quartet that brought Lloyd considerable fame and commercial success in the 1960s; and then Bobo Stenson, when he returned from nearly two decades of relative inactivity as a leader (some of it spent recording and touring with The Beach Boys) and began an association with ECM Records that continues to this day. His first five ECM albums--from 1990's Fish Out of Water through to the particularly ...read more
BMW Jazz FestivalVia FunchalSão Paulo, BrazilJune 8-10, 2012 To borrow a word commonly associated with BMW cars, this is a luxury festival. The BMW Jazz Festival debuted one year ago, in 2011, in São Paulo, Brazil. With handsome funding from BMW Financial Services-Bank Group in Brazil, the young festival experienced wild success in its first year--tickets sold out within hours. The demand indicated two things: world-class music and an audience eager to hear it. The 2012 BMW Jazz Festival was largely no different. The festival boasted a ridiculously talented and eclectic line-up: trumpeter ...read more
Charles Lloyd QuartetLove-InAtlantic1967 Four-and-a-half decades after the event, saxophonist Charles Lloyd's Love-In, recorded live at San Francisco's Fillmore Auditorium in 1967, the counterculture's West Coast music hub, endures as much as an archaeological artifact as a musical document. From sleeve designer Stanislaw Zagorski's treatment of Rolling Stone photographer Jim Marshall's cover shot, through the album title and some of the track titles ("Tribal Dance," Temple Bells"), and the inclusion of John Lennon and Paul McCartney's Here There and Everywhere," Love-In's semiology reeks of the acid-drenched zeitgeist of the mid 1960s, a ...read more
What might on the surface appear as a meeting of disparate minds--jazz with Byzantine airs--ignores the fact that multi-reed/woodwind player Charles Lloyd has been embracing the music of the world for half a century with singular conviction and grace. Greek classical singer Maria Farantouri is herself a musical adventurer and risk taker; over the course of fifty years, she has collaborated with guitarist John Williams, Turkish composer Zulfu Livaneli, Cuban guitarist/composer Leo Brouwer, electronic legend Vangelis and saxophonist Jan Garbarek. For over a decade too, she has played and recorded with pianist Henning Schmiedt, saxophonist/flautist Volker Schlott and cellist Jens ...read more
Charles Lloyd / Maria Farantouri Athens Concert ECM Records 2011 When ECM enticed him back into action in 1989, who knew that reed/woodwind multi-instrumentalist Charles Lloyd's career wouldn't just kick-start, it would signal a period of ascendancy that's moved from one creative height to another ever since? Two decades later, his stable quartet of young Americans rivals the stellar group responsible for Atlantic megahits including 1966's Dream Weaver and 1968's Forest Flower. Blasphemous to some, perhaps, but Lloyd's so-called New Quartet--no longer exactly new, since pianist Jason Moran, joined existing members, bassist Reuben Rogers and ...read more
Charles Lloyd QuartetMirrorECM Records2010 Saxophonist Charles Lloyd's current artistic output is often depicted as a heartwarming comeback after years of silence. It is certainly true that his recent string of albums for ECM has brought him commercial and critical success even greater than the plaudits that attended his renowned, hippie-tinged 1960s quartet featuring pianist Keith Jarrett and drummer Jack DeJohnette. But this narrative interpretation is awkward, given that the comeback," beginning in the early 1990s, has now arguably lasted longer than his heyday and his dormant period put together. Not to mention ...read more
Charles Lloyd New QuartetNate Holden Performing Arts CenterLos Angeles, California, USASeptember 25, 2010 The audience at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles witnessed something akin to a Saturday night prayer service on September 25th, 2010. As Charles Lloyd led his New Quartet in support of their latest release, Mirror (ECM, 2010), the expansive set list drew on tunes from throughout Lloyd's long career. But the group dwelled fully in the present moment, with transcendent electricity that seemed to conjure spirits in the room from the first downbeat. The ...read more
Charles Lloyd QuartetMirrorECM Records2010 The perception of Charles Lloyd has changed since he first rose to popularity as a 1960s-saxman, sporting flower power colors and a momentous afro, and was somehow tied to mainstream jazz, the avant-garde and the popular psychedelic movement. A brief recess from recording, during which he taught transcendental meditation, ended with his return to recording and performance in the 1980s, and subsequent transformation into one of today's elder statesmen of jazz. Yet over all the years, little has changed within his playing, save for perhaps the logical ...read more
Charles Lloyd's Mirror is an intensely personal almost autobiographical work. This is apparent from the opener, a deconstructing of the standard I Fall in Love Too Easily," where the saxophonist's urgent and pleading tone accurately conveys the feeling of unrequited love. The first track bleeds into the next, the traditional gospel tune Go Down Moses," rearranged by the leader. His alto--backed by Eric Harland's pulsatile drumming, Reuben Rogers' arco bass and Jason Moran's sparse piano--creates a dense, spiritual atmosphere. Moran assumes the double role of frontline partner and leader of the rhythm section, and pulls it off admirably.read more
Sometimes the trust in knowing can yield more than the excitement of uncharted territory. Charles Lloyd ratchets down the energy from Rabo De Nube (ECM, 2008), one of the most exciting, free-wheeling albums and new groups of the saxophonist's half century career. Relying on the quartet's increasingly profound chemistry--and mostly recycled material rather than Rabo's largely new set of originals--Lloyd continues his upward trajectory; his intrinsically spiritual nature a moving force behind an album somewhat reminiscent of The Water is Wide (ECM, 2000). The Water is Wide's multigenerational quintet of established greats and stars-in-the-making, however, culled low-keyed material from a ...read more
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