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Charles Lloyd: Jumping the Creek

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On Jumping the Creek, Charles Lloyd continues to refine his approach to the saxophone-smoothing some rough edges, perhaps, but he still hasn’t lost the intensity and sense of adventure that made his work in the 1960s with Cannonball Adderley and his own band so compelling.

Joining Lloyd on this CD are bassist Robert Hurst, drummer Eric Harland and pianist Geri Allen, who has a lovely touch, no doubt, yet she occasionally overindulges a romantic streak. Her introduction to the Jacques Brel ballad “Ne Me Quitte Pas,” for example, is lush nearly to the point of kitsch; Lloyd’s deeply felt but unsentimental reading of the melody saves it. Straight-toned and plain-spoken, the saxophonist’s focused intensity-while never close to being over the top-counters the pianist’s near-mawkishness.

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