May 22, 2024

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CD review: Charles Lloyd Quartet – Cologne 1966 – 2022: Video, CD cover

In New York in 1966, Lloyd formed his “classic quartet” with drummer Jack DeJohnette, pianist Keith Jarrett and bassist Cecil McBee (continued on by Ron McClure).

The Quartet’s 1966 live album, Forest Flower, recorded at the Monterey Jazz Festival, was one of the most successful jazz recordings of the mid-1960s, building a heterogeneous audience of rock as well as jazz fans in the prospering hippie counterculture. The Quartet toured across America and Europe. In 1967, Lloyd was voted “Jazz Artist of the Year” by DownBeat magazine.

Lloyd is given credit for anticipating world music by incorporating music from other cultures into his compositions, as early as the late 1950s. He describes his music as having “danced on many shores”. Peter Watrous stated, “Lloyd has come up with a strange and beautiful distillation of the American experience, part abandoned and wild, part immensely controlled and sophisticated.”

Despite recording several albums during the 1970s and occasionally appearing as a sideman, he practically disappeared from the jazz scene. While practicing Transcendental Meditation in the 1970s, Lloyd played extensively with The Beach Boys, both on their studio recordings and as a member of their touring band; several members of the group shared his affinity for the technique. Lloyd recorded at Brian Wilson’s home studio during this period and has recalled that Brian and several other members of The Beach Boys performed on these recordings, some of which (e.g. “All Life Is One”) were included on Lloyd’s 1971 LP ‘Warm Waters’, and which also featured Quicksilver Messenger Service lead guitarist John Cipollina. Lloyd also was a member of Celebration, a band consisting of members of the Beach Boys’ touring band as well as Mike Love and Al Jardine. Celebration released two albums.

Lloyd returned to the jazz world in 1981 when he toured with Michel Petrucciani.[2] British jazz critic Brian Case called Lloyd’s return “one of the events of the 1980s.” The group produced a special edition cassette, Night Blooming Jasmine, and two live records, Montreux 82 and A Night in Copenhagen, which also features Bobby McFerrin. After the tour, Lloyd again retreated to Big Sur.

In 1986, after being hospitalized with a nearly fatal medical condition, Lloyd rededicated himself to music. When he regained his strength in 1988, he formed a new quartet with Swedish pianist Bobo Stenson. When Lloyd returned to the Montreux Festival in 1988, Swiss critic Yvan Ischer wrote: “To see and hear Charles Lloyd in concert is always an event, not only because this saxophonist has been at quite a few crossroads, but also because he seems to hold an impalpable truth which makes him a thoroughly original musician… This is what we call grace.”

1. Love Song To A Baby
2. Love Ship
3. Autumn Sequence
4. Song My Lady Sings
5. Dream Weaver

Jack DeJohnette drum
Cecil McBee bass
Keith Jarrett piano
Charles Lloyd tenor saxophone, flute


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