feat. JULIAN LAGE, MARVIN SEWELL, REUBEN ROGERS, ERIC HARLAND
Charles Lloyd was nominated “Jazz Master” by the National Endowment for the Arts, which is the highest honour that the United States can pay a jazz musician.
Behind this recognition is a long history that makes Charles Lloyd a legend of world music, not just of jazz.
Before starting his career as a leader, Lloyd had a long apprenticeship in his city, Memphis. Among his most important engagements is certainly the one with Chico Hamilton, a Californian drummer who experimented unusual sounds for that time and looked beyond the western tradition. Man from two worlds, from the early 60s, makes good the sense of that music, starting from the title. Lloyd is completely at ease here and also contributes as a composer.
His great success came in the second half of the 60s with Dream Weaver, the first studio album of the new quartet with Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette and Cecil McBee. Forest Flower and The Flowering are live, recorded respectively at the Monterey Festival and in Europe. Above all from his live records, an extraordinary creative energy was released. In this period Lloyd deepened his interest in the sounds of the east (he played world music when this term didn’t even exist) and harmony took place with the rock bands of the West Coast like the Beach Boys, Canned Heart, Doors, Grateful Dead.
After a long period of reflection (it would be better to say, of meditation), in the 80s Lloyd started touring again, in Europe as well, and to document this he released an album recorded live for Blue Note in Copenhagen. The pianist is Michel Petrucciani. Listening to it, one wonders why a jazz patrimony like Charles Lloyd had been absent from the scenes for so long.
Starting from the late 80s, Manfred Eicher had him record for ECM and it is difficult to choose the most representative titles in a catalogue of such extraordinary quality.
Finally, just recently, Wild Man Blues marked Lloyd’s return to Blue Note after thirty years. Three other recorde for the same label are by Charles Lloyd & The Marvels and the New Quartet. The most recent title, which Lloyd brings to Umbria Jazz 19, is Kindred Spirits, which is characterised by the presence of two great young guitarists, Julian Lage and Marvin Sewell.