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Charles Lloyd: Wild Man Dance

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Charles Lloyd, Skopje Jazz Festival, Oct. 2011

On the cusp of his 77th birthday, saxophonist Charles Lloyd is of an age and stature where people seek to fete and frame the spellbinding sprawl of his musical lifetime. There has been the documentary film Arrows Into Infinity, the unearthing of remarkable live recordings from the ’60s (Manhattan Stories) and the announcement that Lloyd will join the pantheon of NEA Jazz Masters at a ceremony this spring. Meanwhile, Lloyd can’t sit still long enough to properly pose for the bronze bust.

His current project, Wild Man Dance, is a panoramic, spiritual, multicultural opus, performed with a new band. Its world premiere was in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Wroclaw Jazz Festival in Poland in 2013. That concert recording is being released on Blue Note, as Lloyd’s first appearance on the label since 1985. For the first rendition of such an ambitious work, it is a spectacular achievement.

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