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Jazz - Released February 28, 2020 | Blue Note Records

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama
Saxophonist and composer Charles Lloyd celebrated his 80th birthday in 2018. His wife and manager Dorothy Darr decided to commemorate it with a series of shows that would, in and of themselves, be remarkable celebrations. 8: Kindred Spirits Live at the Libero was cut at the 150-year-old Libero Theater in Santa Barbara on March 15 (his actual birthday). Lloyd was in the company of a stellar band that included longtime drummer Eric Harland, and more recent companions pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Reuben Rogers, and guitarist Julian Lage. He was joined during the second set by organist Booker T. Jones and Blue Note boss Don Was. The full show was released as an expensive, limited-edition package that included three LPs, two compact discs, and a DVD of the entire performance, along with a whopping 96-page hardcover book and a pair of photo prints. This standard version contains both an audio disc and a DVD (or a pair of LPs) and a visual disc that features the concert’s first set sans guests, but it's quite strong on its own. It opens with Lloyd's biggest "hit," a 20-plus minute version of "Dream Weaver," originally recorded in the mid-'60s. Its first five minutes are spent in warm yet abstract improvisation; Lloyd engages sound more than song. Clayton's ostinato ring & roll prompts Lage to deliver tight arpeggios atop Rogers' modal bass and Harland's intricate cymbal and snare play. At five minutes, Lloyd delivers a mantra-like phrase three times then engages the tune's melody. The band finds it quickly and settles into a simmering, song-like exchange; all players wind through and around one another, taking turns soloing before returning to the lucid groove. "Requiem," issued on Notes from Big Sur in 1992, finds the saxophonist delving deeply into the blues in both the intro and his solo, while Lage delivers a shadowy exercise in post-bop's scalar harmonics. The Mexican folk standard "La Llorona" has been with Lloyd since the beginning, though he didn't cut it in the studio until 2016. The frontline of Clayton (who at times gets his piano to sound like a marimba) and Lage offers a quiet drama and tension like a spell, until Harland sets it all free with his consummate fills and accents. The saxophonist enters at 5:33 and moans through his own lyric statement of the theme, adding whispers and wails, and turning it into an emotional watershed, especially when he quotes form "'Round Midnight." The closer, "Part 5: Ruminations," is a relatively new tune. Its early minutes are spent in improvisation, with Lloyd touching on mentors Coltrane, Rollins, Ben Webster, and Coleman Hawkins before Lage and Clayton push into the melody and swing it as Rogers states the groove. There are duo improvs between Lloyd and Lage (the latter's solo is magnificent), the guitarist and Clayton; Harland and Lloyd; Rogers and Lloyd, etc. At over 18 minutes, it is at once exploratory and accessible. This edition comes with its own 40-page hardbound book of photos that include stirring moments of now-absent figures from Lloyd's long life: pianist Michel Petrucciani, guitarist John Abercrombie, and drummer Billy Higgins. Arguably, this edition of 8: Kindred Spirits, though only a first set, is one of Lloyd's strongest live offerings to date. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released July 14, 2017 | Blue Note (BLU)

Hi-Res Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
Listening to a new Charles Lloyd is always a guaranteed ticket on an inspired and spiritual inner journey. Not far off his 80th birthday, the Memphis saxophonist is still ploughing his furrow, never straying from the task or leaving her listeners cold. On stage, the experience takes on an additional aspect. That's proven on Passin' Thru recorded live in summer 2016 on the stage of the Montreux Jazz Festival and at Lensic in Santa Fe alongside her New Quartet which is made up of bassist Reuben Rogers, drummer Eric Harland and pianist Jason Moran. This recording was brought out by the label Blue Note and marks this untouchable outfit's tenth birthday. The menu of this improvised feast includes more recent themes, but older ones too, like Passin’ Thru for which the record is named and which Lloyd first recorded in 1963 with the Chico Hamilton quintet. The quartet have always played a pretty essential role in the saxophonist's career. It had its first incarnation in 1965 with Keith Jarrett on the piano, Cecil McBee on the double bass and Jack DeJohnette on the drums. Even if Lloyd would regularly return to this configuration, he considers the present New Quartet to be one of his most accomplished. "From the notes of our first concert, I knew that it was a magical formation." Ten years later, the closeness and the tenor of the exchanges between the four musicians is intense. Here and there, Charles Lloyd blows up a few storms whose secrets are all his own, and which he plays with a beatific pleasure. © MZ/Qobuz
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Bebop - Released August 25, 2008 | Rhino Atlantic

Saxophonist, flutist, composer, and bandleader Charles Lloyd has assembled a sizable catalog since he left Cannonball Adderley's band in the early 1960s. While most of his early recordings for Atlantic are now considered slight in contrast to his later ones, especially those from his longstanding tenure with ECM Records, they do deserve to be heard and debated once more in the 21st century as truly compelling, even groundbreaking works of the period. In fact, while Lloyd wasn't the first jazz musician to play Bill Graham's Fillmore Auditorium (John Handy was), he was the first jazzman to connect with the record-buying rock audiences of the late '60s without embracing rock music as a form (some of that came later during his Blue Thumb period). This double-disc anthology from Rhino UK does an excellent job of presenting to the listener a very solid, consistent overview of the years when Lloyd's quartet were making their mark; they became near rock stars with young people in the United States and Europe, and critical darlings of the jazz world simultaneously -- something unheard of during that period. The albums Dream Weaver, Forest Flower, Charles Lloyd in Europe, The Flowering, Love-In, Journey Within, Soundtrack, and Charles Lloyd in the Soviet Union are all represented here. They are equally divided between live and studio offerings. Lloyd's quartet remained all but constant during this period as well. His young pianist Keith Jarrett and drummer Jack DeJohnette, feature on every recording here; bassist Ron McClure was replaced by Cecil McBee for the later recordings -- the two groups are divided by disc on this set. These recordings, whether they be older Lloyd originals such as "Forest Flower," (that dated back to his days with Chico Hamilton's group) or newer compositions, such as the very first recorded version of Jarrett's "Sorcery," are played with enthusiasm, fire, gentility, and a keen sense of the emerging Eastern modalities in Lloyd's sound; these would remain with him throughout his career, and have been explored most recently with his group Tangam. The only problem with this compilation is that it isn't complete, but it is a solid tease for picking up all of the Atlantic sides because literally all are worthy of owning. The sound is 24-bit remastered and there is an excellent historical essay in the liners by Jazzwise editor Jon Newey. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released April 13, 2015 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Wild Man Dance marks Charles Lloyd's return to Blue Note after nearly 30 years. The work, a six-part suite, was commissioned by the Jazztopad Festival in Wrocĺaw, Poland in 2013 and premiered and was recorded there. The composer is accompanied by an international cast. The American rhythm section -- pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Joe Sanders, and longtime drummer Eric Harland -- are appended by Greek lyra player Sokratis Sinopoulos and Hungarian Miklos Lukacs on cimbalom. The music here seamlessly melds creative, modally influenced jazz and folk forms, a near classical sense of dynamics, and adventurous improvisation. The long opener "Flying Over the Odra Valley" opens with mysterious interplay between cimbalom and lyra before the bass, drum, and Clayton's elliptical piano enter in a collective rhythmic improvisation on folk drones. Lloyd begins his solo a little over three minutes in. He finds a melody from the heart of the droning center and begins to elaborate upon it as the other instruments gradually rise to meet him. Harland's gently rolling tom-toms, kick drum, and whispering cymbals accent Sanders, who takes a woody solo. It is framed by gently dissonant piano chords that erect themselves into a labyrinthine solo flight. When Lloyd re-enters, it is to re-establish the melodic modal center before Sinopoulos takes it out and helps to introduce "Gardner." Throughout the suite, Lloyd juxtaposes jazz with vanguard textures and the ghosts of sounds and musics from antiquity. Clayton introduces "Lark" with a solo that recalls the meditative yet expressive questioning of Olivier Messiaen's bird songs before bowed bass, lyra, and cimbalom lushly illustrate it without sacrificing the tune's spectral quality. "River" contains a gentle intro, which becomes the vehicle for knotty, swinging post-bop, and later, pulsing free group improvisation highlighted by killer playing by Clayton, Harland, and Lukacs. And while the title track closer also begins slowly, with gorgeous Webster-esque ballad playing from Lloyd, it winds out into a kinetic, freewheeling exploration of tone, timbre, and color and a wonderful solo by Sinopoulos. Wild Man Dance is a success on virtually every level. Its vision is vast, but never indulgent; Lloyd's music is relatable and communicative throughout. It spreads farther than ever before to embrace other musical forms without forsaking jazz. Though Wild Man Dance is on Blue Note, it nonetheless reflects the spiritual and aesthetic qualities nurtured during Lloyd's 16-album tenure at Manfred Eicher's ECM, and extends them with musical restlessness and fearless willingness. This inspiring suite is a landmark in an already extensive creative journey that readily embraces the unknown. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1984 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

From 1982-1983, pianist Michel Petrucciani was a member of the Charles Lloyd Quartet. Lloyd, coaxed out of retirement by Petrucciani, sounded virtually unchanged from his earlier days; the passion and enthusiasm were still there. The leader is heard on tenor, flute, and the exotic Chinese oboe on seven of his originals, including two ("Of Course, Of Course" and "Sweet Georgia Bright") that were released for the first time on this CD reissue. Bassist Palle Danielsson and drummer Woody Theus are excellent in support, and the remarkable singer Bobby McFerrin scats quite creatively on "Of Course, Of Course" and "Third Floor Richard." Recommended. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1979 | Universal Digital Enterprises

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Bebop - Released May 17, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

Before his great quartet split at the end of 1968, Charles Lloyd took this band literally to the ends of the earth. As a quartet, they had grown immensely from that first astonishing spark when they toured the summer festivals in 1966. Here they are a seasoned unit, full of nuance, elegance, and many surprises, while having moved their entire musical center over to the pursuit of Lloyd's obsession -- incorporating the music of the East into Western jazz. This show in Norway, which featured the original band of Lloyd on flute and saxes, Keith Jarrett on piano, Cecil McBee on bass, and Jack DeJohnette on drums and percussion, took the idiom begun by John Coltrane and Yusef Lateef and moved it into places even they hadn't imagined. The set starts with "Tagore," a gorgeous flute piece for Lloyd with stunningly ornate percussion from DeJohnette. There is plenty of mystery but there are no edges in this tune, as the two men move from point to counterpoint to mode without seams. Just as quickly, Keith Jarrett enters the picture playing the inside of the piano and a few chords just to lend texture as Lloyd takes it out as softly as he whispered it in. "Karma" is a more conventional piece in that Jarrett creates a gently spiraling harmonic tower for Lloyd to float down from after he climbs it with gorgeous swells and a mournfully beautiful legato. The set ends with "European Fantasy" and "Hej Daj." The first is a slow modal blues, carried out by exquisitely complex harmonics created by Jarrett for both McBee and Lloyd to find their way into. Jarrett gives up nothing in his mystery. Lloyd floats along, touching points here and there before winding it out with the little flute piece at the end, which leaves the audience -- and listeners alike -- stunned. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released September 3, 2001 | ECM

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Jazz - Released February 28, 2020 | Blue Note Records

Saxophonist and composer Charles Lloyd celebrated his 80th birthday in 2018. His wife and manager Dorothy Darr decided to commemorate it with a series of shows that would, in and of themselves, be remarkable celebrations. 8: Kindred Spirits Live at the Libero was cut at the 150-year-old Libero Theater in Santa Barbara on March 15 (his actual birthday). Lloyd was in the company of a stellar band that included longtime drummer Eric Harland, and more recent companions pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Reuben Rogers, and guitarist Julian Lage. He was joined during the second set by organist Booker T. Jones and Blue Note boss Don Was. The full show was released as an expensive, limited-edition package that included three LPs, two compact discs, and a DVD of the entire performance, along with a whopping 96-page hardcover book and a pair of photo prints. This standard version contains both an audio disc and a DVD (or a pair of LPs) and a visual disc that features the concert’s first set sans guests, but it's quite strong on its own. It opens with Lloyd's biggest "hit," a 20-plus minute version of "Dream Weaver," originally recorded in the mid-'60s. Its first five minutes are spent in warm yet abstract improvisation; Lloyd engages sound more than song. Clayton's ostinato ring & roll prompts Lage to deliver tight arpeggios atop Rogers' modal bass and Harland's intricate cymbal and snare play. At five minutes, Lloyd delivers a mantra-like phrase three times then engages the tune's melody. The band finds it quickly and settles into a simmering, song-like exchange; all players wind through and around one another, taking turns soloing before returning to the lucid groove. "Requiem," issued on Notes from Big Sur in 1992, finds the saxophonist delving deeply into the blues in both the intro and his solo, while Lage delivers a shadowy exercise in post-bop's scalar harmonics. The Mexican folk standard "La Llorona" has been with Lloyd since the beginning, though he didn't cut it in the studio until 2016. The frontline of Clayton (who at times gets his piano to sound like a marimba) and Lage offers a quiet drama and tension like a spell, until Harland sets it all free with his consummate fills and accents. The saxophonist enters at 5:33 and moans through his own lyric statement of the theme, adding whispers and wails, and turning it into an emotional watershed, especially when he quotes form "'Round Midnight." The closer, "Part 5: Ruminations," is a relatively new tune. Its early minutes are spent in improvisation, with Lloyd touching on mentors Coltrane, Rollins, Ben Webster, and Coleman Hawkins before Lage and Clayton push into the melody and swing it as Rogers states the groove. There are duo improvs between Lloyd and Lage (the latter's solo is magnificent), the guitarist and Clayton; Harland and Lloyd; Rogers and Lloyd, etc. At over 18 minutes, it is at once exploratory and accessible. This edition comes with its own 40-page hardbound book of photos that include stirring moments of now-absent figures from Lloyd's long life: pianist Michel Petrucciani, guitarist John Abercrombie, and drummer Billy Higgins. Arguably, this edition of 8: Kindred Spirits, though only a first set, is one of Lloyd's strongest live offerings to date. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Pop - Released August 31, 2020 | Jazz Classics

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Bebop - Released May 17, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

Late in 1967, bassist Cecil McBee left Charles Lloyd's band and was replaced by Ron McClure. The jazz critics and public alike all held their breaths, since Lloyd's band had taken the entire world by storm on the festival circuit; playing Town Hall would surely be an acid test not only of McClure's ability to fill such a big space, but the band's as well -- to see if the fire would continue to burn as it had previously. They needn't have worried. The gig, which is presented here as Soundtrack, stomps with all the fury of a live gospel choir trying to claim Saturday night for God instead of the other guy. McClure's particular strength is in his hard-driving blues style that adds a deep groove to any time signature or dynamic. And, judging by how deep Lloyd, Jarrett, and DeJohnette took their playbook, he was just what the doctor ordered. The band is in a heavy Latin mood, where the blues, samba, bossa, hard bop, modal, and even soul are drenched in the blues. With only four tunes presented, the Charles Lloyd Quartet, while a tad more dissonant than it had been in 1966 and 1967, swings much harder, rougher, and get-to-the-groove quicker than any band Lloyd had previously led. Most notable here are "Sombrero Sam" for its eerie yet funky flute solo (Hubert Laws stole more from this solo than he did from his flute teachers) and the revisited "Forest Flower," now entitled "Forest Flower '69." On the latter, the lovely swinging progressive jazz of the former is replaced with a poignant, torchy, bullish blues groove provided by Jarrett and DeJohnette, who trade time signatures all over the place as Lloyd tries to shove the mode along through no less than five key changes looking for the "right" harmony (they're all right). This band would split soon after, when Jarrett left to play with Miles Davis, but if this was a live swansong, they couldn't have picked a better gig to issue. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released May 12, 1997 | ECM

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Jazz - Released February 1, 1990 | ECM

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Jazz - Released April 1, 1992 | ECM

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Jazz - Released April 1, 1995 | ECM

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Jazz - Released April 10, 2019 | Blue Velvet

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Jazz - Released April 13, 2015 | Blue Note (BLU)

Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
Wild Man Dance marks Charles Lloyd's return to Blue Note after nearly 30 years. The work, a six-part suite, was commissioned by the Jazztopad Festival in Wrocĺaw, Poland in 2013 and premiered and was recorded there. The composer is accompanied by an international cast. The American rhythm section -- pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Joe Sanders, and longtime drummer Eric Harland -- are appended by Greek lyra player Sokratis Sinopoulos and Hungarian Miklos Lukacs on cimbalom. The music here seamlessly melds creative, modally influenced jazz and folk forms, a near classical sense of dynamics, and adventurous improvisation. The long opener "Flying Over the Odra Valley" opens with mysterious interplay between cimbalom and lyra before the bass, drum, and Clayton's elliptical piano enter in a collective rhythmic improvisation on folk drones. Lloyd begins his solo a little over three minutes in. He finds a melody from the heart of the droning center and begins to elaborate upon it as the other instruments gradually rise to meet him. Harland's gently rolling tom-toms, kick drum, and whispering cymbals accent Sanders, who takes a woody solo. It is framed by gently dissonant piano chords that erect themselves into a labyrinthine solo flight. When Lloyd re-enters, it is to re-establish the melodic modal center before Sinopoulos takes it out and helps to introduce "Gardner." Throughout the suite, Lloyd juxtaposes jazz with vanguard textures and the ghosts of sounds and musics from antiquity. Clayton introduces "Lark" with a solo that recalls the meditative yet expressive questioning of Olivier Messiaen's bird songs before bowed bass, lyra, and cimbalom lushly illustrate it without sacrificing the tune's spectral quality. "River" contains a gentle intro, which becomes the vehicle for knotty, swinging post-bop, and later, pulsing free group improvisation highlighted by killer playing by Clayton, Harland, and Lukacs. And while the title track closer also begins slowly, with gorgeous Webster-esque ballad playing from Lloyd, it winds out into a kinetic, freewheeling exploration of tone, timbre, and color and a wonderful solo by Sinopoulos. Wild Man Dance is a success on virtually every level. Its vision is vast, but never indulgent; Lloyd's music is relatable and communicative throughout. It spreads farther than ever before to embrace other musical forms without forsaking jazz. Though Wild Man Dance is on Blue Note, it nonetheless reflects the spiritual and aesthetic qualities nurtured during Lloyd's 16-album tenure at Manfred Eicher's ECM, and extends them with musical restlessness and fearless willingness. This inspiring suite is a landmark in an already extensive creative journey that readily embraces the unknown. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released June 8, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released July 14, 2017 | Blue Note (BLU)

Listening to a new Charles Lloyd is always a guaranteed ticket on an inspired and spiritual inner journey. Not far off his 80th birthday, the Memphis saxophonist is still ploughing his furrow, never straying from the task or leaving her listeners cold. On stage, the experience takes on an additional aspect. That's proven on Passin' Thru recorded live in summer 2016 on the stage of the Montreux Jazz Festival and at Lensic in Santa Fe alongside her New Quartet which is made up of bassist Reuben Rogers, drummer Eric Harland and pianist Jason Moran. This recording was brought out by the label Blue Note and marks this untouchable outfit's tenth birthday. The menu of this improvised feast includes more recent themes, but older ones too, like Passin’ Thru for which the record is named and which Lloyd first recorded in 1963 with the Chico Hamilton quintet. The quartet have always played a pretty essential role in the saxophonist's career. It had its first incarnation in 1965 with Keith Jarrett on the piano, Cecil McBee on the double bass and Jack DeJohnette on the drums. Even if Lloyd would regularly return to this configuration, he considers the present New Quartet to be one of his most accomplished. "From the notes of our first concert, I knew that it was a magical formation." Ten years later, the closeness and the tenor of the exchanges between the four musicians is intense. Here and there, Charles Lloyd blows up a few storms whose secrets are all his own, and which he plays with a beatific pleasure. © MZ/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released June 26, 2019 | Carooousel & mooore

Composer

Charles Lloyd in the magazine
  • Charles Lloyd, still going strong
    Charles Lloyd, still going strong Lyrical, spiritual and free, the live recording of the great American saxophonist's 80th birthday celebration has just been released on Blue Note...
  • ECM turns 50!
    ECM turns 50! Manfred Eicher’s Munich-born music label celebrates half a century of jazz different from the norms, bringing the traditionally African-American genre to Europe and beyond…