Charles Lloyd: Just Before Sunrise

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.