Passin' Thru is a live recording celebrating the 10th anniversary of saxophonist Charles Lloyd's New Quartet with pianist Jason Moran, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland. The full band was last heard from on record on Athens Concert (ECM, 2011). When Lloyd reconvened the quartet for a tour in the summer of 2016 he was in a bit of a retrospective mood, curious to revisit some of his earlier music from a more mature perspective.
After a long rubato introduction, the rhapsodic theme of "Dream Weaver" opens the set. It was the title tune on the debut album (Atlantic, 1966) by Lloyd's classic first quartet with pianist Keith Jarrett, bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Jack DeJohnette. It's a still-potent reminder of the power of that group, as well as a fine calling card for this new one. They really step out on the sprightly "Nu Blues." Moran begins with a commanding, extended piano solo (which might actually recall one of Jarrett's later solo turns, as well as the angular phrasing of Thelonious Monk), followed by Lloyd's tenor saxophone. Then Rogers' bass and Harland's drums get their turn in the spotlight. It's easy to hear that this is indeed the "magical formation" Lloyd describes it as.
"How Can I Tell You" is the ballad feature, a showcase for the leader's lyrical saxophone playing. His alto flute is featured on "Tagore on the Delta," an East/West fusion with the distinctive sound of Moran strumming chords inside the piano for a guitar effect. Then there's the jubilant Latin energy blast of "Passin' Thru," first recorded by the Chico Hamilton Quintet on the album of the same name (Impulse!, 1963) while Lloyd was a member. After a sly unaccompanied double bass introduction, the band takes offand the tune easily justifies holding down the title slot a second time. The set closes with the mournful dirge of "Shiva Prayer," a dedication to a departed friend (which also features a beautiful unaccompanied piano introduction).
Chemistry is an elusive thing, but this quartet has it in spades. Charles Lloyd draws from a seemingly inexhaustible well of creativityhe has never sounded better, and the quartet format has never sounded fresher.
Dream Weaver; Part 5, Ruminations; Nu Blues; How Can I Tell You; Tagore on the
Delta; Passin’ Thru; Shiva Prayer.
Charles Lloyd: tenor saxophone, alto flute; Jason Moran: piano; Reuben Rogers: bass;
Eric Harland: drums.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.