Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

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

More Articles

Read "Nellie Bly Project" CD/LP/Track Review Nellie Bly Project
by Paul Rauch
Published: August 11, 2017
Read "Loneliness Road" CD/LP/Track Review Loneliness Road
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 11, 2017
Read "Heart Of Gold: Live In Aarhus" CD/LP/Track Review Heart Of Gold: Live In Aarhus
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 19, 2016
Read "Rebel Portraiture" CD/LP/Track Review Rebel Portraiture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 12, 2017
Read "Pocono Git-Down" CD/LP/Track Review Pocono Git-Down
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 1, 2017
Read "Bright Lights & Promises: Redefining Janis Ian" CD/LP/Track Review Bright Lights & Promises: Redefining Janis Ian
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 14, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Please support out sponsor