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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Don Mather, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf, Glyn Pursglove

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Dream Weaver

Warner Jazz 8122 79915 5




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
7. Sorcery
8. Little Wahid's Day
9. Wilpan's.

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 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.

Tony Augarde





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