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.