New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
On July 14, saxophonist, flutist, composer, and jazz mystic Charles Lloyd
will release his latest Blue Note offering, Passin' Thru, a passionate live recording that marks the 10 anniversary of his acclaimed and enduring New Quartet featuring pianist Jason Moran, bassist Reuben Rogers, and drummer Eric Harland, a simpatico unit that teems with intuition, contemplation and playfulness. The album is a dynamic seven-song collection of Lloyd
compositions old and new including the swinging and gleeful title track "Passin' Thru" (first recorded in 1963 when Lloyd
was a member of the Chico
Hamilton Quintet), which is available today to download or stream.
formed his first quartet in 1965 featuring soon-to-be jazz stars pianist Keith Jarrett, bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Jack DeJohnette. Throughout his career he has returned to the quartet format, but he considers his New Quartet formed a decade ago "a landmark group nonpareil." He elaborates: "It's a small planet, and we are just passing through on our journey to One. Every now and then there are important intersections. This quartet with Jason, Reuben and Eric coalesced very organically in April 2007. From the notes of our first concert, I knew that it was a magical formation."
In the summer of 2016, Lloyd
reconvened the New Quartet for their first extended tour in several years. In fact, Passin' Thru opens with the very first song performed on that tour: "Dream Weaver" recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival on June 30 (the song was originally recorded on his first quartet's 1966 debut album of the same name). The remaining six pieces were drawn from the band's sublime performance at The Lensic in Santa
Fe, New Mexico on July 29. Lloyd
dedicated that concert, as well as this album, to the memory of his dear departed friend Judith
McBean (the closing piece "Shiva Dreams" was "a prayer and meditation for her.")
When asked why he chose to reexamine songs from his past on Passin' Thru, Lloyd
responds, "'Passin' Thru' and 'Dream Weaver' are among my many children. They left home and came back. I left home and came back. When we visit with each other we find we have more stories to tell. As they have matured, I have too. When I go out now, I bring many more years of experience that I did not have as an idealistic young man."
marvels at how the New Quartet members "have spread their wings in different ways." However, he adds, "when we come together as a unit, we find the music and love has only grown deeper. The bond of our shared experiences on and off the stage informs and expands the music. A span of 10 years covers a lot of territory, but in the time frame of the Universe, it is a mere nanosecond."
The track listing for Passin' Thru is as follows:
2. Part 5, Ruminations
3. Nu Blues
4. How Can I Tell You
5. Tagore on the Delta
6. Passin' Thru
is a vital pillar of the triumvirate of living jazz saxophone legends that includes Wayne Shorter and Sonny
Rollins. He has spent his entire career on a journey to innovatively explore the spiritual realms of wonder and beauty. In December 2016, the esteemed magazine The Atlantic ran the in-depth profile "The Re-Flowering: Charles Lloyd's Second Golden Age," proffering that "The jazz saxophonist went from 1960s pop stardom to years of self-imposed exile, but he's now producing some of the best music of his career."
Lloyd's wide recognition in recent years includes being named a 2015 NEA Jazz Master, receiving an honorary Doctor of Music
degree from Berklee College of Music
in 2015, and last year being inducted into the Memphis Music
Hall of Fame. This year he has been honored by the renowned New York jazz cultural center, The Jazz Gallery, with its Lifetime Achievement Award.
Lloyd's 2015 Blue Note release Wild Man Dance was an album-length suite composed for a unique group comprised of pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Joe Sanders, drummer Gerald Cleaver, Greek lyra virtuoso Sokratis Sinopoulos, and Hungarian cimbalom maestro Miklós Lukács. For his 2016 album I Long to See You, Lloyd
formed a new guitar-driven band featuring guitarist Bill Frisell and pedal steel guitarist Greg Leisz along with Reuben Rogers on electric bass and drummer Eric Harland.