Charles Lloyd (jazz musician)

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Charles Lloyd
CharlesLloyd shadowsax.jpg
Photo by D. Darr
Background information
Born (1938-03-15) March 15, 1938 (age 76)
Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Genres Jazz, post-bop
Occupations Musician
Instruments Tenor saxophone, flute, taragot, other woodwinds
Years active 1961–present
Labels Atlantic, ECM
Website charleslloyd.com

Charles Lloyd (born March 15, 1938) is an American jazz musician. Though he primarily plays tenor saxophone and flute, he has occasionally recorded on alto saxophone and more exotic reed instruments, which include the Hungarian tárogató. Lloyd's working band since 2007 features pianist Jason Moran, bassist Reuben Rogers, and drummer Eric Harland.

Biography[edit]

Charles Lloyd was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on March 15, 1938. Like New Orleans, 400 miles to the south on the Mississippi, Memphis has a rich river culture and musical heritage saturated in blues, gospel and jazz. Lloyd's ancestry of African, Cherokee, Mongolian, and Irish reflects a similar rich culture. He was given his first saxophone at the age of 9, and was riveted to 1940's radio broadcasts by Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Billie Holiday and Duke Ellington. His early teachers included pianist Phineas Newborn, Jr. and saxophonist Irvin Reason. His closest childhood friend was the great trumpeter Booker Little. As a teenager Lloyd played jazz with saxophonist George Coleman and was a sideman for blues greats Johnny Ace, Bobby Bland, Howlin' Wolf and B.B. King.

Classical music also exerted a strong pull on the young Lloyd. In 1956 he left Memphis for Los Angeles to earn a degree in music at USC where he studied with Halsey Stevens, a foremost Bartók authority. While his days were spent in academia, Lloyd spent nights getting educated on the job in L.A.'s jazz clubs, playing with Ornette Coleman, Billy Higgins, Scott LaFaro, Don Cherry, [[Charlie Haden], Eric Dolphy, Bobby Hutcherson and other leading west coast jazz artists. He also was a member of the Gerald Wilson big band.

In 1967 Lloyd was voted "Jazz Artist of the Year" by Down Beat magazine[1], and the Quartet was invited to tour the world. The Lloyd quartet found a warm reception in Europe at the new jazz festivals in Montreux, Antibes, Molde. Its performances in the Far East, the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc nations of Europe often marked the first time these audiences had heard an American jazz group live.

Credited by many musicians with anticipating the World Music movement by incorporating cadences of many cultures in his compositions as early as the late 1950s, Lloyd describes his music as having always "danced on many shores".[2] As Peter Watrous noted, "Lloyd has come up with a strange and beautiful distillation of the American experience, part abandoned and wild, part immensely controlled and sophisticated."[3]

Despite recording several albums during the 1970s and occasionally appearing as a sideman, he practically disappeared from the jazz scene. During the 1970s Lloyd played extensively with The Beach Boys both on their studio recordings and as a member of their touring band. In the late 1970s Lloyd was a member of Celebration, a band composed of members of The Beach Boys' touring band as well as Mike Love and Al Jardine. Celebration released two albums.[citation needed]

From 1989, Lloyd toured actively and recorded for the ECM label. Although his playing had not changed much stylistically since his work in the 1960s, these recordings showcased his sensitivity as a ballad player. Noteworthy albums include Canto; Voice in the Night; The Water Is Wide featuring Brad Mehldau, John Abercrombie, Larry Grenadier and Billy Higgins; Lift Every Voice (featuring Geri Allen); and the live Rabo de Nube with Jason Moran.[citation needed]

Lloyd has shown great consistency and creativity in his period with ECM, much of his music containing a strong spiritual element, some of it heavily in a "world music" vein, and some of it unusual and experimental, as in the duets on Which Way is East? with his longtime friend and musical soulmate, Billy Higgins.[4][5][6]

Allmusic noted that Lloyd's 2013 newest offering, Hagar's Song, a duo recording with Jason Moran finds the musicians "at their most naturally curious and deeply attentive best, offering a conversation so intimate the listener may occasionally feel she is eavesdropping." [7]

Charles Lloyd maintains an active performance and recording schedule with the New Quartet, Sangam, Maria Farantouri and special projects around the world. He celebrated his 75th birthday in 2013 with concerts in the Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum and the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.

On April 26, 2013 Charles Lloyd was given an Award of Merit from the city of Tallinn, Estonia for his pioneering contributions to bringing jazz to Estonia from 1976 to the present.

Charles Lloyd is the recipient of the 2013 Miles Davis Award from the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal.

Personal life[edit]

Lloyd lives in Southern California with his wife, Dorothy Darr.[8]

Discography[edit]

Charles Lloyd with Reuben Rogers and Eric Harland, Santa Barbara, 2006

As leader[edit]

Release date Title Label
1964 Discovery! Columbia
1965 Of Course, Of Course Columbia
1968 Nirvana Columbia
1966 Dream Weaver Atlantic
1966 Forest Flower Atlantic
1966 The Flowering Atlantic
1966 Charles Lloyd in Europe Atlantic
1967 Love-In Atlantic
1967 Journey Within Atlantic
1967 Charles Lloyd in the Soviet Union Atlantic
1968 Soundtrack Atlantic
1970 Moon Man Kapp
1971 Warm Waters Kapp
1972 Waves A&M
1973 Geeta A&M
1973 Morning Sunrise ADC
1978 Weavings Pacific Arts
1978 Koto ADC (Same album as Pathless Path)
1979 Pathless Path Unity (Same album as Koto)
1979 Big Sur Tapestry Pacific Arts
1979 Autumn in New York Volume One Destiny
1982 Montreux 82 Elektra/Musician
1983 A Night in Copenhagen Blue Note
1989 Fish Out of Water ECM
1992 Notes from Big Sur ECM
1993 Acoustic Masters I Atlantic
1993 The Call ECM
1994 All My Relations ECM
1996 Canto ECM
1999 Voice in the Night ECM
2000 The Water Is Wide ECM
2001 Hyperion with Higgins ECM
2002 Lift Every Voice ECM
2004 Which Way is East ECM
2005 Jumping the Creek ECM
2006 Sangam ECM
2008 Rabo de Nube ECM
2010 Mirror ECM
2011 Athens Concert (with Maria Farantouri) ECM
2013 Hagar's Song with Jason Moran ECM

As sideman[edit]

Release date Title Label Notes
With Chico Hamilton
1960 Bye Bye Birdie - Irma La Douce Columbia
1960 The Chico Hamilton Special Columbia
1962 Drumfusion Columbia
1962 Transfusion Studio West
1962 Passin' Thru Impulse!
1963 A Different Journey Reprise
1963 Man from Two Worlds Impulse!
1965 Chic Chic Chico Impulse! Appears on only one track
With Les McCann
1961 Les McCann Sings Pacific Jazz Appears on four tracks
With Cannonball Adderley
1964 Cannonball Adderley Live! Capitol
1964 Cannonball Adderley's Fiddler on the Roof Capitol
1991 Radio Nights Night
With The Beach Boys
1971 Surf's Up Caribou/Stateside Appears on only one track
1973 Holland Brother
1976 15 Big Ones Brother Appears on only one track
1978 M.I.U. Album Brother
With Canned Heat
1971 Historical Figures and Ancient Heads United Artists Appears on two tracks
With The Doors
1972 Full Circle Elektra Appears on "Verdilac" and "The Piano Bird"
With Harvey Mandel
1972 The Snake Janus Appears on only one track
With Gábor Szabó
1973 Gabor Szabo Live Blue Thumb Appears on only one track
With Roger McGuinn
1973 Roger McGuinn Columbia Appears on two tracks
With William Truckaway
1976 Breakaway Reprise
With Celebration
1978 Almost Summer: Music from the Original Motion Picture MCA
1979 Celebration Pacific Arts
1979 Disco Celebration ADC
With Joe Sample
1995 Old Places, Old Faces Warner Bros Appears on three tracks
With Mark Isham
1998 Afterglow: Music from the Motion Picture Columbia

References[edit]

  1. ^ DownBeat Readers (1967-12-31). "1967 Downbeat Readers Poll". DownBeat Magazine. 
  2. ^ Lloyd, Charles. "Biography". http://www.charleslloyd.com/. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  3. ^ Watrous, Peter (June 22, 1992). "Review/Jazz Festival; Tribute to Coltrane from Charles Lloyd". New York Times. 
  4. ^ Richardson, Derk (1 April 2004). "A Jazz Love Affair / Charles Lloyd pays homage to Billy Higgins at the SF Jazz Fest Spring Season". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 16 May 2013. 
  5. ^ Elwood, Philip (22 March 2001). "Loving Tribute for Higgins / Emotional riffs by Sanders, Lloyd". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 16 May 2013. 
  6. ^ Elwood, Philip (28 Oct 1997). "Jazz Fest's Drum Summit". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 16 May 2013. 
  7. ^ Jurek, Thom (2013-02-26). "Hagar's Song - Charles Lloyd : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-03-02. 
  8. ^ Woodard, Josef (June 2008). "Charles Lloyd". JazzTimes. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 

External links[edit]