piano; Robert Hurst, bass; Eric Harland, drums & percussion – ECM
Veteran saxist Lloyd just keeps turning out challenging and original
albums showing his thoughtful approach to modern jazz. This disc
may be his best yet. Varying his usual concentration on the alto sax,
we hear some tenor this time, plus the unique timbre of the
Balkans-region wind instrument known as the taragato. It’s a bit
similar to a bass clarinet but with a haunting sound all its own.
There’s a good deal of variance in the sound of the ten tracks because
some employ just Lloyd and one other player while others have the
entire quartet going at it full tilt.
Lloyd’s tune choice is always compelling. This one opens with
a strong and bittersweet interpretation of the Jacques Brel song
“Ne Me Quitte Pas” which runs 13 1/2 minutes, and concludes with a
similarly lengthy original, “Song of the Inuit.” Ellington’s
glorious Come Sunday receives an inspiring treatment. Pianist
Allen handily supports the often modal harmonies and sometimes ventures
into atonal territories over which Lloyd’s flowing horn sounds float.
Lloyd’s style seems to reflect his personal involvement in meditation
and spirituality. This is quartet jazz that never resides in the
ordinary. Sonics, as per ECM style, are exemplary for 44.1K
Tunes: Ne Me Quitte Pas, Ken Katta Ma Om, Angel Oak Revisited, Canon
Perdido, Jumping the Creek, The Sofi’s Tears, Georgia Bright Suite,
Come Sunday, Both Veils Must Go, Song of the Inuit.
– John Henry