Recorded live in Santa Barbara in mid-2004, Sangam continues in the spirit of Which Way Is East?, Charles Lloyd’s duo outing with Billy Higgins, recorded shortly before the drummer’s death in 2001. To fill the void left by Higgins, Lloyd recruits not one but two percussionists: the great Zakir Hussain on tabla and Eric Harland (of Lloyd’s current quartet) on drums. The trio’s textural palette is broad, with Lloyd dividing his time between taragato, saxes and flutes (and piano on the brief “Nataraj”). The music is free-flowing and unrehearsed, meditative but replete with rhythmic energy. Audio seems only to hint at the magic of this offbeat encounter. (Lloyd’s promo DVD contains 12 minutes of video, leaving one to wonder about the rest.)
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