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JT Editor Evan Haga Introduces the June 2015 Issue

A night at the museum with Charles Lloyd

Charles Lloyd, Skopje Jazz Festival, Oct. 2011

Right now, Charles Lloyd, 77, is the most dependable member of what I refer to as jazz’s “main event” club-that elite handful of A-listers whose performance fee for a single European concert can parallel the cost of a ranch house in the Atlanta suburbs. You know the caliber of Jazz Icon I’m talking about: He performs concerts in symphony halls and not sets in clubs (though one-off anniversary dates in historic small rooms are permissible). In 2015, he continues to get newspaper previews when playing in cities other than New York. The standing ovations come not only after his concert but before it too. The atmosphere around the gig takes on an element of religion: This isn’t a night out, it’s a séance.

Other still-thriving members of the club-say, Wayne Shorter and Keith Jarrett-have honed their ticket-moving mystique through the possibility of musical divinity. Will Shorter take the audience along with him into the stratosphere or will he eye his soprano sax repeatedly like it’s a faulty car part? Will Jarrett conjure up a new canon or will some chump in the front row forget his lozenges?

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