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When Charles Lloyd gained attention in the 1960s, he was described by some as a "mellow John Coltrane." It wasn't a bad descriptionTrane was (and still is) his main influence, but he's always been a softer player. Lloyd, like Trane, has always been very spiritual, and there's no way getting around the fact that spirituality is a crucial part of Canto.
The rewarding post-bop session (which was recorded in Oslo, Norway in 1996 and employs Bobo Stenson on piano, Anders Jormin on double-bass and Billy Hart on drums) has a meditative quality, and Lloyd's modal improvisations draw heavily on Middle Eastern and Asian spiritual music.
On "Nachiketa's Lament," Lloyd switches from the tenor to the Tibetan oboemaking us wish jazzmen did that sort of thing more often. And Stenson, whose influences include Keith Jarrett and Bill Evans, is a major asset on this strong addition to Lloyd's catalogue.