242

Charles Lloyd: Voice In The Night

Douglas Payne By

Sign in to view read count
Voice in the Night is a welcome homecoming for reedman Charles Lloyd. He hasn't recorded in a guitar-based group since his two tremendously underrated (and rockish) albums for A&M in 1972-73. Here, he also pleasingly revisits a good deal of his earlier (and still his most personable) material: "Forest Flower," from the famed quartet days of the late 60s, "Voice in the Night" and in the "Pocket Full of Blues" medley, "Island Blues" and "Little Sister's Dance."

With the advantage of hindsight, Lloyd seems to sound warmer, somewhat romantic - and a touch more inspired than usual — with a guitar. Pianists seem to bring out Lloyd's more aggressive Coltrane-ish side and often permit him to easily dabble in longer, spacier themes with exotic instrumentation. Even though he sticks to tenor throughout here (his exceptional flute playing is sorely missed coupled with John Abercrombie's sensistive accompaniment), Lloyd sounds just right here: swinging and having fun too.

This all-star aggregate, featuring Abercrombie on guitar, Dave Holland on bass and Billy Higgins on drums, recalls the other supergroup Lloyd captured on 1965's superb Of Course, Of Course (Columbia, not on CD). The earlier date featured iconoclastic guitarist Gabor Szabo, an excellent foil for any of Lloyd's moods (Szabo came to the Chico Hamilton group Lloyd directed at Lloyd's insistence in the early 1960s), with bassist Ron Carter and drummer Tony Williams. Lloyd, Abercrombie and Holland bring a far different, mellowed perspective to this music.

Voice in the Night suffers none of the austerity that rules much of ECM's recordings and a few of Lloyd's previous five ECM releases. Aside from toe-tapping interplay on the familiar songs, Lloyd and company offer lovely covers of Strayhorn's "A Flower is a Lovesome Thing" and, surprisingly, last year's Burt Bachrach/Elvis Costello hit, "God Give Me Strength." Quite often, though, the most interesting moments come on Lloyd's newest material: the off-kilter calypso of "Dorotea's Studio," "Homage" (a sterling Abercrombie showpiece) and "Requiem." However, anyone familiar with Lloyd's magisterial "Forest Flower" from the Chico Hamilton days, or, more likely from the famed quartet days, will certainly want to hear the beautiful version Lloyd, Abercrombie, Holland and Higgins offer here. It's worth the price of admission.

Here's hoping the somewhat reclusive Lloyd is planning a sequel to Voice in the Night. This is a quartet that offers much to explore.

Songs:Voice In The Night; God Give Me Strength; Dorothea's Studio; Requiem; Pocket Full of Blues; Homage; Forest Flower: Sunrise/Sunset; A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing.

Players:Charles Lloyd: tenor sax; John Abercrombie: guitar; Dave Holland: double bass; Billy Higgins: drums, percussion.

Title: Voice In The Night | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: P.S.F. Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read The Chase CD/LP/Track Review The Chase
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Paint CD/LP/Track Review Paint
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 16, 2017
Read A Pouting Grimace CD/LP/Track Review A Pouting Grimace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 15, 2017
Read Witches Stew: A Tribute to Miles Davis CD/LP/Track Review Witches Stew: A Tribute to Miles Davis
by Doug Collette
Published: October 15, 2017
Read "Ray Charles Orchestra: Zurich 1961-Swiss Radio Days Jazz Series, Vol. 41" CD/LP/Track Review Ray Charles Orchestra: Zurich 1961-Swiss Radio Days Jazz...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 8, 2016
Read "The Imperfect Sea" CD/LP/Track Review The Imperfect Sea
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 4, 2017
Read "Collage of Moments" CD/LP/Track Review Collage of Moments
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 17, 2017
Read "Now Hear This!" CD/LP/Track Review Now Hear This!
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 7, 2017
Read "Constant Change 1976-2016" CD/LP/Track Review Constant Change 1976-2016
by John Sharpe
Published: July 19, 2017
Read "The Picasso Zone" CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 24, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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