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Charles Lloyd, still going strong

By Marc Zisman |

Lyrical, spiritual and free, the live recording of the great American saxophonist's 80th birthday celebration has just been released on Blue Note...

Two years ago, Charles Lloyd turned 80 and for his birthday he celebrated on stage. In March 2018, in his home state of California at the magnificent Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara, Lloyd performed with an original band including Julian Lage on guitar, Gerald Clayton on piano, Reuben Rogers on bass, and Eric Harland on drums.

Released last Friday on the Blue Note label, 8: Kindred Spirits is stunning, especially considering that these impressive virtuosi are not used to playing together (except for the rhythm section of Rogers and Harland who have been with Lloyd since 2007). The sax player’s aura and shamanic energy help stimulate exchanges and synergy even between musicians who do not collaborate that often.

8: Kindred Spirits is 100 % “Lloydian” as shown in Dream Weaver, the first 21 minutes of the record.

Years pass but Charles Lloyd’s libertarian verve and spiritual lyricism, in the style of John Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders, remain unaffected. This style deeply influences the band and permeates through this beautiful album.


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