7

Charles Lloyd & The Marvels with Lucinda Williams: Masters Of War

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Track review of "Masters Of War"

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose (The more things change, the more they stay the same) —Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr

More than half a century has come and gone since Bob Dylan penned "Masters of War," yet the song's message remains as relevant as ever. On January 20, 2017—the very day that Donald Trump took the Oath of Office and became the 45th President of the United States of America—saxophonist Charles Lloyd joined a rapidly growing chorus of dissent:

Nations have been throwing rocks at each other for thousands of years. We go through spells of light and darkness. In my lifetime I have witnessed periods of peace, protest, and uprising, only to be repeated by peace, protest and more uprising. The fact that Bob Dylan's "Masters of War" was written in the early 1960s and not during the last decade, makes it timeless and timely. It breaks my heart to think that there are current generations of young people all over the world who are growing up without knowing of peace in their lives. The words Dylan wrote are a laser beam on humanity. This line, in particular, has stuck with me for over five decades:

"Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul"

The world is a dog's curly tail—no matter how many times we straighten it out, it keeps curling back. As artists we aspire to console, uplift and inspire. To unite us through sound across boundaries and borders and dissolve lines of demarcation that separate. The beautiful thing is that as human beings, even under the most adverse conditions, we are capable of kindness, compassion and love. Vision and hope. All life is one. Who knows, maybe one day we'll succeed. We go forward.


Those well-chosen words from Lloyd accompanied the release of a rendition of the aforementioned Dylan classic, recorded live at Santa Barbara's Lobero Theatre on November 28, 2016. It serves as an impactful piece of protest music, with modern folk rock icon Lucinda Williams fronting the band with her controlled yet impassioned delivery of the lyrics. Lloyd's horn spirals through the air with intensity, Bill Frisell's guitar and Greg Leisz's pedal steel guitar irradiate the meaning of the song with their ominous tidings, and the rhythm combination of drummer Eric Harland and bassist Ruben Rogers serves as ballast in more ways than one. It's a stormy and purposeful performance that deserves to be spread far and wide. Charles Lloyd's saxophone and Lucinda Williams' voice are blowin' in the wind, so listen closely to what they say.

Track Listing: Masters Of War.

Personnel: Charles Lloyd: tenor saxophone; Lucinda Williams: vocals; Bill Frisell: guitar; Greg Leisz: pedal steel guitar; Reuben Rogers: bass; Eric Harland drums.

Title: Masters Of War | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Blue Note Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Elusive CD/LP/Track Review Elusive
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Transitions CD/LP/Track Review Transitions
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Door Girl CD/LP/Track Review Door Girl
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Incidentals CD/LP/Track Review Incidentals
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Heart Knows CD/LP/Track Review Heart Knows
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2017
Read Jersey CD/LP/Track Review Jersey
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2017
Read "Landing" CD/LP/Track Review Landing
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "True Love Collection" CD/LP/Track Review True Love Collection
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 24, 2016
Read "Thank You For Coming To Life" CD/LP/Track Review Thank You For Coming To Life
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 2, 2017
Read "All Things" CD/LP/Track Review All Things
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "May I Introduce To You" CD/LP/Track Review May I Introduce To You
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 15, 2017
Read "Confidences" CD/LP/Track Review Confidences
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 3, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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