Charles Lloyd Quartet, Mirror

Is your jazz, your music, background noise, to bolster your cocktail party presence–

Or is it harmonic convergence– an invocation of the sacred resonance…?

Space is the binding syllable here. Breadth….



How lazily wonderful.

Mr. Lloyd has time. Imagine that, in present day America.

“I fall in Love Too Easily,” on the abnormal-for-Lloyd alto sax: he feels, it seems, unencumbered: his notes flit from maudlin to energetic, seemingly ecstatic and free of their tenor bonds… dig Jason Moran pounding those keys… dig that reassuring chaos….

“Go Down Moses” continues the almighty beseeching… with a passion inspiring of one Lloyd’s age…. nicely chaotic… and so nicely controlled… the ideal of music, one might assert….

Desolation Sound,” an angry ballad… interestingly… a fascinating combination….

“La Llorona,” regal and sad… though it runs through some modern jazz clichés and never quite works itself into complete possession of the host, making the helpless host kinda talk with unexplained manifestation of impossibly-foreign tongues… never completely manifest… never quite spewing pea soup….

Turn that head around 180 degrees, Lloyd…! Do we have all fucking day…?

“Caroline, No,” a Beach Boys cover, a beautiful, breath-heavy run sliding up and down the number, seemingly linked but also miniature statements, tiny bits of dialogue, Goldberg variations of complimentary melody….

“Mirror,” Guaraldi-ish, sad but entertaining, like a witty homeless man… a benign reminiscence…

Monk’s “Ruby, My Dear,” somehow unrecognizable… ending with bells….

“The Water Is Wide,” close-miked, intimate, you can hear the pads close… a sound I love, where the slightest exhalation is audible… that unique combination… a soft touch but an unafraid one… without the hesitance such gentleness might suggest… ending with elliptical fretless bass….

“Lift Every Voice and Sing,” chaotic, wandering, time expanding and contracting… no discernible melody, until the last phrase…but somehow memorable… ends with the declarative final syllable on the bass….

“Being and becoming,” a wonderful airy passage… fades out in concert A, a declaration of innocent love…?

“Tagi,” a re-telling of the Bhagavad Gita, the Song of God (some shoes to fill, Mr. Lloyd…)… the mantra in D flat… the human lung breath showing you equilibrium… and the tenor entering at 5:30, somehow complimenting the air laden with holy… at 8:00, the warping from low octave to high and back, depending on how you breath into the mouthpiece… all for that sacred resonance that would make Sunn O))) proud….


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