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...

188

Charles Lloyd/Billy Higgins: Which Way Is East

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Name your religion. Seriously, these days everyone from President "Dubya" to freedom fighters is wearing his or her religion on their sleeves. Why not jazz musicians?

And jazz musicians seem to "get it." The spiritual part, that is. From Coltrane to James Moody and Dizzy Gillespie—it’s all about the love supreme, if I can steal a title.

For drummer Billy Higgins and his long-time friend Charles Lloyd the big picture hovers close to this two-disc, 150-minute duo recording. Higgins, in the last few months of his life, traveled to Lloyd’s Big Sur home for a week of music making. The pair, friends since the 1950’s, had recorded several stunning sessions for ECM the last few years including Voice In The Night, The Water Is Wide , and Hyperion With Higgins . This session is an intimate and personal get together of familiar friends.

Billy Higgins has supplied the beat on over 700 recordings, including those by Ornette Coleman, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor, Lee Morgan, Dexter Gordon, and Pat Metheny. Those acquainted with his touch will be surprised with his guitar playing and singing. Higgins plays the blues and sings a bit of Portuguese and Arabic. He also does a little hand drumming on various world instruments: a Juno tuned wooden box and a Syrian "one string." This expansion of his instruments doesn’t detract from the recording. Interestingly, Lloyd follows suit, by reinvestigating his alto saxophone and playing, among other things, taragato, Tibetan oboe, and piano.

Not interested in their exploration of new instruments? Then there are plenty of saxophone/drum tracks to savor. Smiling Billy had and always will have a velvet touch. His gliding style is in full effect here and their duets pass over competition, with each player finishing the others’ sentences.

The last recording by Higgins is worth savoring. Until you meet him in heaven I suggest you begin listening to some of those 700 sessions where he can also be found.


Track Listing: CD 1: What Is Man; Divans; Salaam; All This Is That
CD 2: Desire; Devotion; Light of Love; Surrender

Personnel: Charles Lloyd (tenor and alto saxophones, bass, alto and C flutes, piano, taragato, Tibetan oboe, percussion, maracas, voice), Billy Higgins (drums, guitar, guimbri, Syrian ?one string,? Senegalese, Guinean and Indian hand drums, Juno?s Wood box, percussion, voice)

Title: Which Way Is East | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: ECM Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Fearless And Kind CD/LP/Track Review
Fearless And Kind
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 14, 2018
Read 25th Anniversary Project CD/LP/Track Review
25th Anniversary Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Any Day Now CD/LP/Track Review
Any Day Now
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Adrift CD/LP/Track Review
Adrift
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Folkjazz from Finland CD/LP/Track Review
Folkjazz from Finland
by Anthony Shaw
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Circulate Susanna CD/LP/Track Review
Circulate Susanna
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 13, 2018
Read "Meditation Tape" CD/LP/Track Review Meditation Tape
by Samuel Stroup
Published: December 23, 2017
Read "Stax Singles, Vol. 4: Rarities & Best of the Rest" CD/LP/Track Review Stax Singles, Vol. 4: Rarities & Best of the Rest
by Jim Trageser
Published: February 25, 2018
Read "Hule" CD/LP/Track Review Hule
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 4, 2018
Read "The Last Night At The Old Place" CD/LP/Track Review The Last Night At The Old Place
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 31, 2018
Read "Chain" CD/LP/Track Review Chain
by John Sharpe
Published: December 1, 2017
Read "Vista" CD/LP/Track Review Vista
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 29, 2018