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October 1999

Charles Lloyd
Just Before Sunrise
32 Jazz

Jazz people have always slept on Charles Lloyd's tenor saxophone/composing skills. Back in the late '60s, the Charles Lloyd Quartet (Keith Jarrett, piano; Cecil McBee/Ron McClure, bass; Jack DeJohnette, drums) was the crossover jazz act; shipping Atlantic Records gold, playing rock concerts. Ironically, that very success was maligned by the jazz hipocracy as "sell-out."

32 Jazz' 2-CD reissue Just Before Sunrise blows that case. The damning evidence: Dream Weaver and Love-In, the former a freaky-deaky swirl of baroque, Milesian swing ("Autumn Leaves"), country-fried Latin boogaloo ("Sombrero Sam") and meditative rapture ("Love Ship"), the latter (recorded at the Fillmore) a giddy trip-out of funky bops a la Cannonball ("Is It Really the Same?"), down-home tenor skronkin' gospel-blues ("Memphis Dues Again") and a quiet fire-sambafied version of the Beatles' "Here There and Everywhere". Like Lloyd himself, the power and grace of Just Before Sunrise is undiminished by the passage of time.

Originally published in October 1999
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