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...

175

Charles Lloyd/Billy Higgins: Which Way Is East

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Which Way Is East documents a simply magical recording between two lifelong musicians and friends: saxophonist Charles Lloyd and drummer Billy Higgins. The recording is significant for a number of reasons. Besides the musical affinity the two musicians shared, a spiritual bond also permeated their music. Having collaborated many years on numerous projects their recent efforts on ECM with Voice In The Night, The Water is Wide, and Hyperion With Higgins, the newly released Which Way Is East would be their final project together, as Billy Higgins died shortly after its recording in 2001. The recording serves as a poignant and reverent musical memorial.

Higgins was a dynamic and respected drummer who brought percussive verve to the music of greats such as Thelonious Monk, Ornette Coleman, Sonny, Rollins, John Coltrane, and countless others. His aforementioned efforts with Lloyd led to the weeklong recording at Lloyd's Santa Barbara home and features the two musicians on their primary instruments as well as surprises such as Lloyd's rare performances on alto saxophone and piano, or Higgins' singing and guitar performances.

The two CD recording features an expansive eight-suite movement of thirty individual pieces with a mix of duet and solo performances. The styles span global, spiritual, and cultural boundaries and show the symbiotic kinship the musicians shared. Lloyd is a consummate musician and his horn and flute performances are a testament to his longevity. Higgins' colorful and dynamic pulsations spawn a rainbow of percussion. The musicians seem to breathe in unison as each performance is filled with joy, life, and fluidness.

The performances use diverse arrangements of not only horn and drums conversations but also include flutes, piano, and exotic instruments such as Lloyd on Tibetan oboe, and Higgins on Senegalese and Guinean hand drums. From the tribal voices of the opening suite, "What Is Man," which explores primitive sounds and modern jazz, to the African/Latin sentiments of "Light of Love" and "Surrender," the music is a wondrous journey on many levels.

Fervently recommended.

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 for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Nov5Tue
Charles Lloyd
Tivoli/vredenburg
Utrecht, Netherlands

Related Articles

Read We Are On The Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration Album Reviews
We Are On The Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration
By Mark Corroto
April 25, 2019
Read Golem Dance Album Reviews
Golem Dance
By Friedrich Kunzmann
April 25, 2019
Read New Jazz Standards, Vol. 4 Album Reviews
New Jazz Standards, Vol. 4
By Dan Bilawsky
April 24, 2019
Read Open Form For Society Album Reviews
Open Form For Society
By Mark Corroto
April 24, 2019
Read Yes Album Reviews
Yes
By John Sharpe
April 24, 2019
Read Avec le temps Album Reviews
Avec le temps
By Mark Sullivan
April 23, 2019
Read Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog Album Reviews
Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog
By Mark Corroto
April 23, 2019