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Field Notes: Charles Lloyd @ 75

Ain't nothin' like the real thing

Jason Moran, Charles Lloyd, Reuben Rogers, Eric Harland, Belgrade Jazz Festival, Oct. 2011
Charles Lloyd, Skopje Jazz Festival, Oct. 2011

I’m going over proofs of Nate Chinen’s excellent upcoming Gig column, a look at the burgeoning trend of jazz venues live streaming their concerts, and for once I’m not sure I agree with him. Because I want to plug Chinen’s column rather than spoil it for you, I’ll only reveal that it argues for the validity of live streams using the example of saxophonist and flutist Charles Lloyd’s recent 75th birthday celebration at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (OK, I’ll give you a little more: The venue is a picturesque but spotty-sounding one, and the production values of the stream are worth writing home about.)

I wasn’t at that show, and I didn’t view that stream. But I did attend Lloyd’s birthday fete a week later at the Kennedy Center, and my counterargument would be this: Even if Lloyd and company played a VFW hall, and even if Stanley Kubrick was reanimated to direct the stream, there’s no way video footage of a Lloyd gig could trump the authentic live experience. There’s too much psychic vitality about this man and his nimble New Quartet of pianist Jason Moran, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland.

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