Monday, 4 March 2013

Charles Lloyd/Jason Moran: Hagar's song (ECM)

No less than two CD’s! That is what it takes when Charles Lloyd celebrates his great-grandmother. When she was 10 she was sold to a new slave-owner and when she was 14 she was pregnant.

Her story is used as inspiration for Hagar Suite, which in five parts tell how the life of a child was stolen.

In collaboration with piano player Jason Moren, who’s also a member of Lloyd’s quartet, the 75-year old saxophone player has created an album which demands respect.

Charles Lloyd’s career has been somewhat uneven but right now he seems to be at a rewarding place.

Especially the collaboration with Jason Moran has given the older saxophone player a revitalized artistic energy. When they meet in a duo like here it’s obvious what they are able to do.

The suite – which is composed by Lloyd –is complimented by well-known melodies like Ellington’s Mood Indigo, Gershwin’s Bess You Is My Woman Now and Bob Dylan’s I Shall be Released (which he dedicates to Levon Helm, the drummer from The Band).
As the final tune he has chosen the Brian Wilson/Beach Boys-classic God Only Knows. In the 70ies Charles Lloyd played saxophone on several Beach Boys albums.

In other words, it’s Lloyd’s album; he has selected the music. Jason Moran is no silent partner, though. He is a well playing partner who brings the history of jazz to the piano.

Hagar’s Song is a pleasure because of the mature playing in the ballads from Lloyd and the serene piano of Moran. 

Review: Niels Overgård. Translation: DSI Swinging Europe.

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