Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Charles Lloyd: Canto

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

For me, Lloyd always evokes the mid-’60s, when he recorded the Atlantic albums Forest Flower, Live at the Fillmore in San Francisco and Charles Lloyd in the Soviet Union. Periods of dormancy and re-emergence have occurred in the tenor saxophonist’s career since then, and this album-his fourth for ECM in the ’90s-suggests a venerable, serene spiritual master conveying wisdom and blessings on his congregation.

The performances are with Lloyd’s regular quartet: pianist Bobo Stenson, bassist Anders Jormin and drummer Billy Hart. The opening “Tales of Sumi” begins like an incantation, Stenson plucking strings and noodling spare lines reminiscent of the late Gil Evans on “La Nevada” and Lloyd seeping in with long notes, alternate fingerings and pentatonic scales. On “How Can I Tell You,” which recalls Billy Eckstine’s “I Want to Talk About You,” Lloyd is full of sweeping runs and plunging lines in the manner of the late John Coltrane (his main influence). On “Nachiketa’s Lament” he plays Tibetan oboe.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.