392

Charles Lloyd Quartet: Rabo De Nube

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
Charles Lloyd Quartet: Rabo De Nube It's fitting that the shimmeringly beautiful Rabo De Nube, which is being released to celebrate reed player Charles Lloyd's 70th birthday on March 15, 2008, is a live album. Lloyd became a star forty years ago with a series of paradigm-shifting live discs recorded on a seemingly never-ending tour of the USA and Europe—seven of them altogether, starting with Forest Flower (Atlantic, 1966) and ending with Soundtrack (Atlantic, 1968).

Intentionally or not, Rabo De Nube, recorded in Switzerland in 2007, and seeped in the same spirit as those momentous earlier performances, goes some way towards completing the circle.

Along with fellow saxophonists John Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders, and pianist/harpist Alice Coltrane, Lloyd in the 1960s sculpted a style of jazz which predated the emergence of "world music" by some 20 years. His rainbow hued, exotically textured performances precisely reflected the zeitgeist, and, to the displeasure of the jazz police, found an enthusiastic following amongst the more adventurous end of the rock audience—Love-In (Atlantic, 1967) was recorded at the acid-drenched Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco.

Like its predecessors in the outstanding, second-wind run of discs he's recorded for ECM since 1989, Rabo De Nube finds Lloyd's aesthetic essentially unchanged. A pan-ethnic, mantra-like vibe remains centrestage in his playing, and bells and incense still hang in the air around it. The mesmerising, dervish intensity of "Ramanujan," with Lloyd on his preferred alternative to the soprano saxophone, the reedy Persian-derived tarogato, would have fit perfectly on any of the early Atlantic albums.

What has changed is the emotional depth of Lloyd's music. The albums of the late 1960s were in the main sunny and bright, as befitted the optimism of those years. On ECM, Lloyd has, in addition, explored darker terrains. On Rabo De Nube, the gorgeous lyricism of "Migration Of Spirit" and "Sweet Georgia Bright," a longtime live favorite, is balanced by the edgy astringency of "Prometheus"—a refashioning of "The Crossing" from Lift Every Voice (ECM, 2002)—and the elegaic "Booker's Garden," composed in memory of Lloyd's childhood friend, the trumpeter Booker Little (1938-61).



Lloyd's 1960s quartet, which also made a star of the pianist Keith Jarrett, was pure heaven. The new quartet, with Jason Moran replacing Geri Allen, pianist on the last quartet album, Jumping The Creek (ECM, 2005), gets close enough to kiss it. Moran is an inspired inclusion. His percussive, chordal comping is a perfect foil for Lloyd's supple, diaphonous lines, and his exuberant solo flights recall the youthful Jarrett of Atlantic-era stormers like "Sombrero Sam."

An awesome performance from an elder statesman who has kept the faith—and shows no sign of slowing up. Long may he continue to delight and uplift us.


Track Listing: Prometheus; Migration Of Spirit; Booker's Garden; Ramanujan; La Colline De Monk; Sweet Georgia Bright; Rabo De Nube.

Personnel: Charles Lloyd: tenor saxophone, alto flute, taragato; Jason Moran: piano; Reuben Rogers: double bass; Eric Harland: drums, percussion.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: ECM Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Punch" CD/LP/Track Review Punch
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 29, 2016
Read "Gurutopia" CD/LP/Track Review Gurutopia
by James Nadal
Published: March 22, 2016
Read "Heavy Feel" CD/LP/Track Review Heavy Feel
by Doug Collette
Published: May 21, 2016
Read "Transparent Water" CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 29, 2016
Read "Purple Patio" CD/LP/Track Review Purple Patio
by John Sharpe
Published: October 1, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET 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!

Buy it!