336

Charles Lloyd: Hyperion With Higgins

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
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


Shop

More Articles

Read Welcome to Swingsville! CD/LP/Track Review Welcome to Swingsville!
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 26, 2017
Read Points of View CD/LP/Track Review Points of View
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 26, 2017
Read Migration Blues CD/LP/Track Review Migration Blues
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 26, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 26, 2017
Read N.O. Escape CD/LP/Track Review N.O. Escape
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 26, 2017
Read Reflections CD/LP/Track Review Reflections
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 25, 2017
Read "The Great Jazz Gig In The Sky" CD/LP/Track Review The Great Jazz Gig In The Sky
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 8, 2016
Read "Three Worlds: Music From Woolf Works" CD/LP/Track Review Three Worlds: Music From Woolf Works
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: February 4, 2017
Read "Live At The Open Gate" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Open Gate
by John Sharpe
Published: August 29, 2016
Read "We Live Here" CD/LP/Track Review We Live Here
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2017
Read "Nuit Blanche" CD/LP/Track Review Nuit Blanche
by John Kelman
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "Akua's Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: DOT TIME RECORDS | BUT IT  

Support our sponsor

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!