Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
336

Charles Lloyd: Hyperion With Higgins

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count Views
Charles Lloyd: Hyperion With Higgins 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 Sur 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: tenor saxophone, taragato, maracas; Billy Higgins: drums, percussion; John Abercrombie: guitar; Larry Grenadier: bass; Brad Mehldau: piano.

| Record Label: ECM Records | Style: Modern Jazz


CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
Read more articles
I Long to See You
I Long to See You
Blue Note Records
2016
buy
Wild Man Dance
Wild Man Dance
Blue Note Records
2015
buy
Manhattan Stories
Manhattan Stories
Resonance Records
2014
buy
Hagar's Song
Hagar's Song
ECM Records
2013
buy
Quartets
Quartets
ECM Records
2013
buy
Athens Concert
Athens Concert
ECM Records
2011
buy

Charles Lloyd Events

Date Event Time Tickets
Nov16Wed The Charles Lloyd Quartet
Vicar Street
Dublin 8, Ireland
19:00
€29.00 - 65.00

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.