All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

326

Charles Lloyd Quartet: Rabo De Nube

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Woodwind multi-instrumentalist Charles Lloyd has traversed considerable musical territory with nary a misstep across a dozen albums, since joining the ECM fold in 1989. Still, as undeniably fine as albums including Sangam (2006), Jumping the Creek (2005) and Which Way is East (2004) are, what Lloyd's been missing is a consistent line-up to rival his mid-1990s discs with pianist Bobo Stenson, bassist Anders Jormin and drummer Billy Hart, in particular the definitive Canto (ECM, 1997).

Rabo De Nube continues a musical partnership with incendiary drummer Eric Harland that began on Jumping the Creek, but with the addition of bassist Reuben Rogers (who's toured with Lloyd for a couple of years, most notably at the 2007 Portland Jazz Festival) and pianist Jason Moran, Lloyd has a new quartet that not only equals his 1990s group, but in many ways surpasses it. The combination of Moran's extroverted sense of adventure and the unshakable yet completely pliant rhythm team of Rogers and Harland makes this the freest and most unfettered quartet of Lloyd's long career.

That doesn't mean that Lloyd has abandoned his sense of tradition. "Migration of the Spirit" starts with Rogers alone but, with his band mates gradually joining in as the mood becomes increasingly turbulent, ultimately resolves into a light yet visceral mid-tempo swing, providing Lloyd a fertile groove with which to layer his sometimes flighty but always focused tenor.

The lengthy "Prometheus" shifts between simmering freedom and high velocity swing, Moran supporting Lloyd with remarkably spartan dissonance, and playing it sparer still during Rogers' arco solo. But it's when the pianist takes the lead that he demonstrates the true value he brings to this quartet. Encyclopedic in scope, Moran begins economically, with a dark and near-classical lyricism that turns to expressionistic freedom before settling into the kind of unshackled virtuosity that made him the closest thing to an overnight sensation when he released his Blue Note debut, Soundtrack to Human Motian back in 1999.

Lloyd has often (and unfairly) been compared to John Coltrane and, although Trane's spirit looms unmistakably, especially during Lloyd's nimble solo on the up-tempo "Sweet Georgia Bright," his warmer tone and distinctive confluence of fluid sheets of sound with a clearly discernable melodicism renders such comparisons moot. Trane may have looked to the East for inspiration, but Lloyd's connection is more palpable during his a capella flute intro to the gently balladic "Booker's Garden" and on "Ramunjan," where Lloyd's use of the oboe-like tarogato is matched by an equally broad world view by Moran, Rogers and Harland.

Lloyd will be 70 a few days after Rabo De Nube's release on March 11, 2008, but if the music from this 2007 live performance is any indication, not only is he playing better than ever, but he's got a new quartet that, if it remains together, is sure to become the most memorable group in a career now nearing its sixth decade.

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.

Title: Rabo De Nube | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: ECM Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Fat Daddy CD/LP/Track Review
Fat Daddy
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Short Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Short Stories
by Gareth Thompson
Published: September 19, 2018
Read UHHM CD/LP/Track Review
UHHM
by John Bricker
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Decoy CD/LP/Track Review
Decoy
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller CD/LP/Track Review
Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Change In The Air CD/LP/Track Review
Change In The Air
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 18, 2018
Read "Autotelic" CD/LP/Track Review Autotelic
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: July 1, 2018
Read "New Devices" CD/LP/Track Review New Devices
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 14, 2018
Read "Official Bootleg: Live in Chicago, June 28th, 2017" CD/LP/Track Review Official Bootleg: Live in Chicago, June 28th, 2017
by John Kelman
Published: October 12, 2017
Read "Louise Baranger Plays The Great American Songbook" CD/LP/Track Review Louise Baranger Plays The Great American Songbook
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: February 6, 2018
Read "Nu-Jive Perspective" CD/LP/Track Review Nu-Jive Perspective
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: August 7, 2018
Read "Magic Circle" CD/LP/Track Review Magic Circle
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: December 12, 2017