Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Charles Lloyd - All My Relatiions (ECM Quartets Compilation, 2013)

Saxophonist Charles Lloyd was one of the hottest names on the jazz scene in the 1960's, featuring high profile gigs as a sideman with the likes of Cannonball Adderley and with his own quartet which played rock halls and jazz festivals around the world. Burned out and spiritually spent, he became something of a recluse, recording sporadically before joining the ECM label in the late 1980's to begin a remarkable 25-year run. Like many of his early ECM releases, the band is anchored by Swedish pianist Bobo Stetson along with Anders Jormin on bass and Billy Hart on drums. Their music is strong and deep, combining Lloyd's deeply spiritual nature and modern post-bop jazz. Lloyd sticks primarily to tenor saxophone on this album, branching out a few times to add flute and Chinese oboe to his arsenal."Piercing the Veil" opens the album with dark toned and athletic saxophone playing soloing nicely over well paced accompaniment. "Thelonious Theonlyus" is the highlight of the disc with the band deftly channeling the spirit of Thelonious Monk in a jaunty and exciting performance. Lloyd takes a bit of a more meditative path on "Little Peace" and "Hymn to Mother." The former is a flute feature framed by subtle and shaded accompaniment. He connects cohesively with his colleagues to create a patient and enduring performance. The later is a slow and mournful song, gradually moving the band forward toward a hard-won grace. Finally, "Milarepa" shows Lloyd playing a brief snippet on Chinese oboe which has an alluring and exotic sound. Quartets - amazon.com

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