Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Lift Every Voice
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Tenor saxophonist and flutist Charles Lloyd's music has been a healing force in jazz ever since his historic Forest Flower recording of the mid-'60s with Jack DeJohnette and Keith Jarrett. As fate would have it, he was boo... more »
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Tenor saxophonist and flutist Charles Lloyd's music has been a healing force in jazz ever since his historic Forest Flower recording of the mid-'60s with Jack DeJohnette and Keith Jarrett. As fate would have it, he was booked at New York's Blue Note club on September 11, 2001. Lloyd, for those who were lucky enough to see him that week, literally bathed the audience with his Coltranean sounds of love. This double-CD, with pianist Geri Allen, bassists Larry Grenadier and Marc Johnson, guitarist John Abercrombie, and drummer Billy Hart, beautifully captures the serene vibe of the Blue Note engagement. Lloyd's ethereal sax tones sing sweetly over a number of spirituals, such as "Amazing Grace," "Go Down Moses," and the title track, which was written by James Weldon Johnson and was known as "The Negro National Anthem." There's also a mournful rendition of Billy Strayhorn's "Blood Count" and a rejuvenating take on Marvin Gaye's soulful "What's Going On." On all of the selections Lloyd shows that jazz soothes, as well as grooves. --Eugene Holley Jr.
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Jan P. Dennis | Monument, CO USA | 12/10/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Charles Lloyd has recorded many fine albums in his long and distinguished career, but none finer than this one. I, too, was reluctant to acquire this disc, not because I thought it would be mostly ballads, but because I mistakenly took the Amazon[.com] editorial review to mean that it was a live session. I generally don't like the distractions, reduced sonic clarity, mistakes, and other annoyances that often accompany live recordings. But I'm a big Lloyd fan, so I picked it up anyway. I was surprised to discover when I opened it that it's a studio recording, and as I have listened, I find it hard to believe he could've topped this effort if it had've been live.Slight changes in personnel are part of what make this recording Lloyd's best. One wouldn't think Geri Allen as necessarily an improvement over Brad Mehldau for the piano chair, but she seems even more on the leader's wavelength than Mehldau, especially in this more ballad-oriented setting. Of course Billy Higgins, alas, is no longer available for drums, but Billy Hart, himself a very accomplished, if somewhat underregarded, percussionist, is also perfect for this setting. Known as a brilliant colorist, he constantly provides the perfect rhythmic underpinning for these meditative proceedings. For my money, there is little to choose between Larry Grenadier and Marc Johnson, who alternate on bass; both are rock-solid yet innovative, thoroughly modern players.But I think the real genius of this session has to do with the circumstances of its genesis: The events of 9/11. Lloyd has been heading in this direction--ruminative, deep-delved selections of traditional material, brilliant covers of both modern and standard compositions, and his own revelatory original tunes--ever since at least Voice in the Night, but his concept comes fully into flower following the horrors of that day of infamy. Always having healing and reconcilliation as a major element of his conception, it is almost as if this lifelong concern has found the perfect--if tragic--circumstances of expression in the aftermath of 9/11, and that has coincided with his finding the optimal musical companions to bring it to life. Thus he becomes, willy-nilly, a kind of national emmisary of raprochement. His faithfulness to his particular muse has resulted in Lift Every Voice, a fitting summation of a lifetime of singular musical vision. Absolute highest recommendation, especially if you love jazz, but even if you don't."
Recording of the year!!!
Jan P. Dennis | 10/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It would seem that Charles Lloyd has had a very personal vision
of this music since he emerged as a major voice and influence in the 1960s. He has never done 'concept albums', and has never gone
mainstream. But his musical statement always sails on the high seas. Lift Every Voice is no different,except more so. His playing is extraordinary, the tone of his saxophone is immediately identifiable as Lloyd - same for his flute on the beautiful piece 'Beyond Darkness.'This recording has it all. Check out Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On' ...Strayhorn's 'Bloodcount', a gritty blues 'East Virginia' and the poignantly powerful renditions of 'Go Down Moses' and 'Lift Every Voice and Sing.' This is healing music for a disturbing time in history. As for the musicians with him, it is perhaps the best Geri Allen has ever sounded, Abercrombie is amazing and the two bassists Grenadier and Marc Johnson add color and texture in different ways. Hart on drums, is not the same as Higgins with Lloyd, but he is a great addition to the group. Run don't walk to get this recording. Highly recommended. ( don't miss the great hidden track. I didn't get to it until my 4th listen.)"
A "Must Have" for your Collection
Jan P. Dennis | 11/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have to admit, I was hesitant to buy this album. I picked up Charles Lloyd's "Hyperion with Higgins" about 3 months ago and just love the up-tempo groove of that album.I knew from reading some reviews that "Lift Every Voice" was going to be a slow-tempo album and questioned whether or not it could hold my interest. Well ... I'm here to say that not only does it hold my interest, it is a wonderful album to listen to.The recording has such a "band" sound. They play as one, not a bunch of individuals off in several directions. The thing that strikes me most about this recording is how soothing and healing it feels to me. I put it on the other day whan I really was not feeling well. The music just peacefully flowed from my stereo and really moved me. It felt healing, and hopeful and spiritual all at the same time. Charles Lloyd must be congradulated for putting together such a rich and emotionally deep sounding album.Charles is joined by the ever creative John Abercrombie on guitar, Marc Johnson or Larry Gremadier on bass, Bill Hart on drums and the great sounding Gerri Allen on piano. Its exciting to hear Gerri Allen playing on this set. I hope she plays more ECM sessions because her piano playing deserves to be heard."