The American jazz legend reinvents himself once again at the head of a supergroup, gracing us with a heaven-sent new album.

“When I play nowadays, I do it as a continuation of all of my past experiences, with all of the knowledge and wisdom that comes with growing older,” Charles Lloyd revealed to the columnists of Jazz Magazine five years ago, when he celebrated his 80th birthday. “I still feel this kind of vitality within myself that’s perpetually being reborn, like a sort of eternal spring, but I use it differently, it’s less showy, managing to say much more with much less. The passing of time isn’t beneficial unless you make the effort to be self-aware and learn lessons from the years gone by, in order to further your understanding of yourself. Something amazing happens then: that moment when, as an artist, you manage to live authentically in your ‘own time,’ outside of the chaos and confusion of the world.”

As is suggested between the lines of this moving, lucid confession, the all but indulgent and out-dated serenity that Charles Lloyd draws from today (which his latest album The Sky Will Still Be There Tomorrow masterfully attests to) is the fruit of a long, tumultuous journey. Like a phoenix perpetually reborn from its ashes, the great saxophonist has reinvented himself on multiple occasions, making use of his naturally flamboyant style in an eternal cycle of metamorphoses to develop ever-increasing moderation, simplicity, and emotional depth.

Starting in the mid-60s with the phenomenal success of a Coltrane-inspired quartet with pianist Keith Jarrett, who at the time was at the beginning of his career, Charles Lloyd was propelled to a level of popularity that jazz musicians rarely reach (the record Forest Flower: Live at Monterey has sold over a million copies!). He resurrected for the first time in the 80s, after a hiatus of over ten years, alongside another keys phenomenon, Michel Petrucciani, a French musician unknown at the time (Montreux 82, A Night in Copenhagen).

During the 90s, already 50 years old, Charles Lloyd began to truly find his voice with Fish Out of Water, the first record of a fruitful collaboration with ECM that would continue until 2013. Releasing exceptional album after exceptional album, accompanied by a multitude of top-drawer musicians—Canto (in a quartet with pianist Bobo Stenson), Voice in the Night, the masterpiece The Water Is Wide (with Brad Meldhau, John Abercrombie, Larry Grenadier, and Billy Higgins), Lift Every Voice (with Geri Allen), as well as Rabo de Nube (alongside Jason Moran for the very first time)—Charles Lloyd’s music became increasingly personal and moving, achieving the synthesis of his three greatest influences, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, and Lester Young.

Signed to Blue Note since Wild Man Dance in 2015, Charles Lloyd seems more creative now than ever before. After two records, Vanished Gardens and Tone Poem, offering up a very personal reinterpretation of Americana with the group The Marvels and the folk and country singer Lucinda Williams, followed by his impressive “trilogy of trios,” presenting him in highly varied orchestral configurations (Trios: Chapel with Bill Frisell and Thomas Morgan; Trios: Ocean, accompanied by Anthony Wilson and Gerald Clayton; and Trios: Sacred Thread with Julian Lage and Zakir Hussain), Charles Lloyd has returned today at 85 years of age with a masterful and monumental new album The Sky Will Still Be There Tomorrow.

At the head of a brand new quartet, a supergroup composed of pianist Jason Moran, bassist Larry Grenadier, and drummer Brian Blade, the saxophonist dives into the most intimate depths of his poetry yet with a simply unmistakeable mix of voluptuous sensuality and mystical depth. Throughout, his music unfurls in melismas that are simultaneously fragile, dreamlike, and purposefully disconnected, marked by serenity and freedom at every moment. Charles Lloyd captures the history of jazz music in its entirety in a single gesture of empathy and unbreakable fraternity, in order to better explore his own inner world and create a record that is truly divine.