June 2008

Charles Lloyd New Quartet
at the TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival
June 25, 2008Enwave TheatreToronto
Report by David Fujino
It's been an unkind cliché in some jazz circles that Charles Lloyd plays a form of 'Coltrane light'.

In several ways, this is true.

When Lloyd appeared with drummer Chico Hamilton in the Peace and Love 70's, he was heralded by some listeners as another Eric Dolphy and a prime Coltrane acolyte. I'm sure it had to do with the train whistle overtones he played.

But Lloyd's fresh, melodic style did capture some parts of John Coltrane's tonal and spiritual gains of the 60's and 70's and — whether you judge him as a kind of popularizer or not — Lloyd's personalized sounds did penetrate through to a listening population. He's a name.

So to hear "Forest Flower" — a big hit for Lloyd, back in the day — was to be recalled and refreshed by the swift sweep of his melodies and the high voice-and-cry of his tenor saxophone, all in relationship to a pulsing drone and the rhythm section's punctuated support.

Lloyd's solos mostly stayed close to the melody, with the exception of a flute excursion in which the blues informed his nudging solo lines, and though he'd fly into brief passages of free-form honks and skronks, he always returned home to his upswept piano/tenor unisons.

Charles Lloyd
We noted how, in the first tune, the deep truths of Reuben Rogers' articulate pizzicato bass set the tone for the answering drums of Eric Harland and the always welcome solo explosions of Jason Moran's piano. Moran proved to be percussively brilliant, and he was always thinking and inventing.

In "these troubled times", Charles Lloyd brought his message of peace and joy to our city.

And if he didn't rewrite jazz history, he did point to the beauty and calm that we can find in life.

Charles Lloyd Quartet
Charles Lloyd — tenor saxophone and alto flute
Jason Moran — piano
Reuben Rogers — bass
Eric Harland — drums
We welcome your comments and feedback
David Fujino
• • • • • •
The Live Music Report
• •

| Home | Archives | CD Reviews | Photo Galleries | Concert Listings | Contact |

Please contact us to secure permission for use of any material found on this website.
© The Live Music Report – 2008