Stereophile: Performance 4.5/5 Stars / Sonics 4.5/5 Stars
"Charles Lloyd has long been cast as the John Coltrane of West Coast jazz, fusing Trane's hard tone and sheets-of-sound rapture with a mellow attitude and harmonies pegged to swaying moods. Recorded live at the Lobero theater in Santa Barbara in 2018, on his 80th birthday, this is mostly a gorgeous high-fly of an album, catching Lloyd careering between the peak of his powers and passages of rambling - mainly the former, and even when he's drifting, he's having fun, the band is cooking, and you can smell the wharf a mile down the way.
"The best tracks are his own classics songs ' "Dream Weaver", "Requiem", "Forest Flower", a probing cover of "Shenandoah" - all stretched out in bright-hued improvisations by his inventive band fronted by his gently adventurous blowing. Things wander toward the middle, but Lloyd corrals the players and the last few songs are as lovely as the first few.
"...Lloyd's sax and flute are breathy, upfront, and 3D...." - Fred Kaplan, Stereophile Magazine, April 2020
The legendary saxophonist, composer and jazz mystic Charles Lloyd celebrated his 80th birthday on March 15, 2018, at his hometown venue, Santa Barbara's Lobero Theatre, with an unprecedented grouping of musical friends including guitarist Julian Lage, pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland, with special guests organist Booker T. Jones and bassist Don Was joining the ensemble midway. His new album 8: Kindred Spirits, Live From The Lobero documents both the sights and sounds of that extraordinary concert in a standard LP/DVD version featuring the concert's first half.
Lloyd has played the 150-year-old adobe theater in downtown Santa Barbara more often than any other venue, and more often than any other performer. Knowing that Marian Anderson sang there on February 14, 1940 makes it a sacred space for him. In the concert film you can see him bobbing with pleasure beneath his pointy, indigo knit cap, curly white hair, and long goatee. He beams at his neighbors, places the palms of his hands together and pulls them against his black sweater and golden tenor saxophone in the traditional Buddhist greeting.
A birthday is a door between the past and the future, and this concert reflected that truth. Representing the future were 34-year-old pianist Gerald Clayton, who performs regularly with Lloyd, and 31-year-old guitarist Julian Lage, who had performed with him when he was 12-years-old. Representing the past was 74-year-old organist and fellow Memphis native Booker T. Jones, who had never played with Lloyd at all. This was a one-of-a-kind line-up for a one-of-a-kind ritual.
"Today, I bring with me everything I've ever played, but I do it with beginner's mind," said Lloyd. "That way I get both the benefit of experience and the desire for new discoveries. Some nights I am blessed and the deities visit me. You can't bring everything you know at once, because that's the error of youth. You have to choose the right notes, but I find that even now I'm finding new notes that I never had before."
Charles Lloyd is an NEA Jazz Master and recent recipient of the prestigious French honor l'Ordre Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, which was presented to the saxophone legend during his European tour in November 2019.
- Double LP
- Oversized triple gatefold jacket
|Charles Lloyd||saxophone, flute|
- Dream Weaver
- La Llorona
- Part 5, Ruminations