1. Autumn Sequence: Autumn Prelude, Autumn
Leaves, Autumn Echo
2. Dream Weaver: Meditation, Dervish Dance
3. Love Ship
4. Sombrero Sam
5. Forest Flower - Sunrise
6. Forest Flower - Sunset
8. Little Wahid's Day
1. Tribal Dance
2. Temple Bells
3. Love In
4. Memphis Dues Again/Island Blues
5. Journey Within
6. Lonesome Child: Song, Dance
7. Love Song To A Baby
8. Voice In The Night.
Charles Lloyd - Tenor sax, flute
Keith Jarrett - Piano, soprano sax
Cecil McBee - Bass (CD1)
Ron McClure - Bass (CD2)
Jack DeJohnette - Drums, percussion, shehnai
I was lucky enough to see
the Charles Lloyd Quartet in 1967, shortly
after it had burst upon the scene as a new,
exciting group which appealed to hippies as
well as jazzers. This double CD, subtitled
"The Charles Lloyd Anthology - The Atlantic
Years 1966-1969", captures well the group's
dynamism, which was provided not only by Lloyd's
impassioned playing but also by two virtual
newcomers: pianist Keith Jarrett and drummer
Jack DeJohnette. The two parts of Forest
Flower, recorded at the 1966 Monterey
Jazz Festival, catch the band's audience appeal.
But it is the first six tracks of the second
CD, taped at San Francisco's Fillmore Auditorium,
that consolidated the quartet's stardom which
extended way beyond jazz crowds.
The music here encapsulates
the reasons for the group's popularity: Lloyd's
spirited tenor and soulful flute; Keith Jarrett's
amazing inventiveness; and Jack DeJohnette's
stunning drum technique. The quartet perfectly
fitted the prevailing mood of love and peace,
mixed with an urge for rebellious freedom.
The sleevenote quotes Charles as telling Time
magazine in 1967: "I play love vibrations...like
bringing everyone together in a joyous dance".
Another factor in the band's
success was Lloyd's ability as a composer.
He wrote most of the tunes on this collection
and many of them have instant memorability.
Dervish Dance, for example, is based
on a simple riff but its simplicity immediately
draws the listener in. Sombrero Sam
is an instantly catchy Latin-American piece,
while Love In (from the album of the
same name) is an irresistible jazz-rock piece.
Although Love Song To A Baby pinches
the chord sequence of Someday My Prince
Will Come, it is still an attractive jazz
waltz. Keith Jarrett's composition Sorcery
hustles along, taking you with it.
There was a fashionably psychedelic
quality to some of these tunes (and to the
solos), which inevitably appealed to those
who wore flowers in their hair (or anywhere).
For example, Lloyd's uninhibitedly wailing
introduction to Memphis Dues Again
is just what the Fillmore crowd loved, especially
when he suddenly switched into a humorous
sentimental interlude. The fact that Lloyd
often wore a caftan didn't hinder his fame.
Sadly, the quartet broke
up in 1969 - only a few years after it started.
Frankly I preferred its music to many of Charles
Lloyd's later recordings, although Jarrett
and DeJohnette continued to flourish together
and separately. The final track of this compilation
- Voice in the Night - was recorded
at New York Town Hall in late 1968 and released
in January 1969. It still has Lloyd's swirling
tenor sax, DeJohnette's thrashing drums and
a movingly restrained piano solo from Jarrett.
It makes a fitting end to this great survey
of a great group.