357

Charles Lloyd: Sangam

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Charles Lloyd: Sangam Those who have been following Charles Lloyd on ECM—as well as plenty of other people—have a real reason to rejoice. Sangam, Lloyd's first live recording for the label, is extremely well recorded and features a new configuration. The concert was part of an event entitled "Homage to Billy Higgins," which included a screening of Dorothy Darr's documentary Home, which recorded on film some of Higgins and Lloyd's last conversations together before Higgins died.

Lloyd has always had a mystical streak, as was evident on his early ECM albums with Bobo Stenson. His work with Higgins, especially the wonderful Which Way Is East (ECM, 2004), brought this feeling even more out in the open. The band he chose to bring to this Higgins memorial was not his regular quartet, but a trio with two percussionists: Eric Harland, who recently started playing in his other band; and Zakir Hussain, one of the world's premier tabla players. One might think that Sangam might be percussion-heavy or monotonous, but in fact the exact opposite is usually true.

It is quite clear that Harland has assimilated the feel of Indian rhythms, while Hussain enjoys playing outside of the box and venturing into the rhythmic territory of jazz. Together, they become like one person and can be extremely exciting; when one comes to the fore, the other listens and comments. This supple, dense, driving and hypnotic cushion supports Lloyd as he weaves his magic, lifting him up and carrying him forward. Lloyd knows a good thing when he hears it, dropping out many times and letting the percussionists go where they will.

The first track, "Dancing On One Foot," is a perfect example of the meshing of the drummers and Lloyd, but the central track, "Guman," is the high point of the set. Lloyd has just finished playing a more-than-passable solo piano piece, "Nataraj," which quotes from Wayne Shorter's "Infant Eyes," when shakers are heard and the piano begins a vamp of a single, short, low repeated note that continues with syncopation throughout the track. From the moment Hussain enters with an unearthly vocal line, the tension and goosebumps are almost unbearable. The music gradually becomes more complex and dense. The master musicians have the audience spellbound within a musical-spiritual web of direct emotional communication, and it really must be heard to be understood.

Charles Lloyd continues to change and make deeply touching and feeling music. Sangam lodged in my mind and heart and immediately became unforgettable.

Visit Eric Harland and Zakir Hussain on the web.

Track Listing: Dancing on One Foot; Tales of Rumi; Sangam; Nataraj; Guman; Tender Warriors; Hymn to the Mother; Lady in the Harbor; Little Peace.

Personnel: Charles Lloyd: tenor and alto saxophones, tarogato, bass and alto flutes, piano, percussion; Zakir Hussain: tabla, voice, percussion; Eric Harland: drums, percussion, piano.

Title: Sangam | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: ECM Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Dream Within A Dream CD/LP/Track Review Dream Within A Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Live At The High Noon CD/LP/Track Review Live At The High Noon
by Doug Collette
Published: June 22, 2017
Read As It Should Be: Ballads 2 CD/LP/Track Review As It Should Be: Ballads 2
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2017
Read Karoujite CD/LP/Track Review Karoujite
by John Eyles
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "One" CD/LP/Track Review One
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "Noumenon" CD/LP/Track Review Noumenon
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "Cómo Desaparecer Completamente" CD/LP/Track Review Cómo Desaparecer Completamente
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 22, 2016
Read "14.11.2016" CD/LP/Track Review 14.11.2016
by Nicola Negri
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "Jazz Marathon 2" CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Marathon 2
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 20, 2017
Read "Sonic Cinema" CD/LP/Track Review Sonic Cinema
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 1, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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