Hagars Song, the newest release from longtime ECM luminary Charles Lloyd, is an interactive duo recording with Jason Moran, the pianist who has been a key member of Lloyds latter-day quartet, contributing to the albums Rabo de Nube (2008), Mirror (2010) and Athens Concert (2012). Hagars Song, a collection of intimacy and homage, features pieces especially dear to Lloyd, ranging from compositions by Billy Strayhorn (Pretty Girl a/k/a Star-Crossed Lovers), Duke Ellington (Mood Indigo) and George Gershwin (Bess, You Is My Woman Now) to a standard strongly associated with Billie Holiday (You ve Changed), Brian Wilsons most famous Beach Boys ballad (God Only Knows) and a Bob Dylan song definitively interpreted by the Band (I Shall Be Released). The centerpiece of the album is the title suite composed by Lloyd and dedicated to his great-great-grandmother, who was taken from her home in south Mississippi at age 10 and sold to a slave-owner in Tennessee.
The release of Hagars Song comes in time to help mark Lloyds 75th birthday, on March 15, 2013. About the pieces that constitute Hagars Song, the saxophonist says: Music has always been my inspiration and consolation I hope to give the same. The songs we chose for the recording are part of the continuous thread of music that is my life.