Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

336

Charles Lloyd: Hyperion With Higgins

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Charles Lloyd won widespread acclaim for his recent Water is Wide, recorded in 1999. That record set high standards for any sequel; and now Lloyd offers Hyperion With Higgins, recorded during the same week in Los Angeles. The title of this disc pays explicit respect to the late Billy Higgins, who passed away in May. This record features the same quintet, an unusual mixture of old-timers and younger musicians. Higgins's emphatic presence is critical to the success of this record, as he blends his flawless sense of swing with textured accents, flashes, and occasional hushed commentary. (Higgins and Lloyd first got together when Lloyd was 18.)

The tunes on Hyperion tend to reflect a warm, spiritual energy, though the pulse fairly leaps out in places. Pianist Brad Mehldau serves as a sort of ground for the group, tugging at the gaps between changes in his solos but otherwise quietly going about tying up loose ends. He helps build a platform for Lloyd's dynamic saxophone work, which takes the concept of tension and release to extremes. The drama on this record is palpable. At times (eg. "Miss Jessye") Lloyd borrows heavily from the late Coltrane canon, but he's definitely got a powerfully deep voice of his own. The only crack in the foundation on this otherwise outstanding disc is some intermittently off-center playing by guitarist John Abercrombie, who appears to have a difficult time adapting his own idiosyncratic approach toward this group's sound. (Enough blues intervals, already!)

Hyperion will certainly make the honor roll for 2001, and rightly so. It's a beautifully spiritual record, led by a visionary who has cultivated and expanded his own voice for over two decades—and stitched together by a cast of extremely talented and sympathetic characters. Higgins's work here deserves special note; but then again, he always was head and shoulders above his peers. The high drama of Hyperion offers a wide range of emotional intensity. This disc is a must-listen if you liked Water is Wide. Highly recommended!

Track Listing: Dancing Waters, Big Sir To Bahia; Bharati; Secret Life Of The Forbidden City; Miss Jessye; Hyperion With Higgins; Darkness On The Delta Suite; Dervish On The Glory B; The Caravan Moves On.

Personnel: Charles Lloyd

Title: Hyperion With Higgins | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: ECM Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Nov5Tue
Charles Lloyd
Tivoli/vredenburg
Utrecht, Netherlands

Related Articles

Read We Are On The Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration Album Reviews
We Are On The Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration
By Mark Corroto
April 25, 2019
Read Golem Dance Album Reviews
Golem Dance
By Friedrich Kunzmann
April 25, 2019
Read New Jazz Standards, Vol. 4 Album Reviews
New Jazz Standards, Vol. 4
By Dan Bilawsky
April 24, 2019
Read Open Form For Society Album Reviews
Open Form For Society
By Mark Corroto
April 24, 2019
Read Yes Album Reviews
Yes
By John Sharpe
April 24, 2019
Read Avec le temps Album Reviews
Avec le temps
By Mark Sullivan
April 23, 2019
Read Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog Album Reviews
Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog
By Mark Corroto
April 23, 2019