Saxophonist, flutist, composer, and bandleader Charles Lloyd has assembled a sizable catalog since he left Cannonball Adderley's band in the early 1960s. While most of his early recordings for Atlantic are now considered slight in contrast to his later ones, especially those from his longstanding tenure with ECM Records, they do deserve to be heard and debated once more in the 21st century as truly compelling, even groundbreaking works of the period. In fact, while Lloyd wasn't the first jazz musician to play Bill Graham's Fillmore Auditorium (John Handy was), he was the first jazzman to connect with the record-buying rock audiences of the late '60s without embracing rock music as a form (some of that came later during his Blue Thumb period). This double-disc anthology from Rhino UK does an excellent job of presenting to the listener a very solid, consistent overview of the years when Lloyd's quartet were making their mark; they became near rock stars with young people in the United States and Europe, and critical darlings of the jazz world simultaneously -- something unheard of during that period. The albums Dream Weaver, Forest Flower, Charles Lloyd in Europe, The Flowering, Love-In, Journey Within, Soundtrack, and Charles Lloyd in the Soviet Union are all represented here.
They are equally divided between live and studio offerings. Lloyd's quartet remained all but constant during this period as well. His young pianist Keith Jarrett and drummer Jack DeJohnette, feature on every recording here; bassist Ron McClure was replaced by Cecil McBee for the later recordings -- the two groups are divided by disc on this set. These recordings, whether they be older Lloyd originals such as "Forest Flower," (that dated back to his days with Chico Hamilton's group) or newer compositions, such as the very first recorded version of Jarrett's "Sorcery," are played with enthusiasm, fire, gentility, and a keen sense of the emerging Eastern modalities in Lloyd's sound; these would remain with him throughout his career, and have been explored most recently with his group Tangam. The only problem with this compilation is that it isn't complete, but it is a solid tease for picking up all of the Atlantic sides because literally all are worthy of owning. The sound is 24-bit remastered and there is an excellent historical essay in the liners by Jazzwise editor Jon Newey.
|Autumn Sequence: Autumn Prelude/Autumn Leaves/Autumn Echo / Charles Lloyd||Charles Lloyd||12:01|
|Dream Weaver: Meditation/Dervish Dance / Charles Lloyd||Charles Lloyd||11:35|
|Love Ship / Charles Lloyd||Charles Lloyd||5:54|
|Sombrero Sam / Charles Lloyd||Charles Lloyd||5:14|
|Forest Flower - Sunrise / Charles Lloyd||Charles Lloyd||7:18|
|Forest Flower - Sunset / Charles Lloyd||Charles Lloyd||10:34|
|Sorcery / Keith Jarrett||Charles Lloyd||5:20|
|Little Wahid's Day / Charles Lloyd||Charles Lloyd||6:27|
|Wilpan's / Cecil McBee||Charles Lloyd||6:49|