Tracking Angle Rated 9/11 Music, 10/11 Sonics!
TAS Rated 5/5 Music, 4.5/5 Sonics in the October 2022 Issue of The Absolute Sound!
For more than six decades, saxophonist and composer Charles Lloyd has been a free spirit, master musician, and visionary. At 84, he remains as prolific as ever. Early on, Lloyd saw how placing the improvised solo in interesting contexts could provoke greater freedom and creativity. That vision is evident on his Trio of Trios project, which encompasses three albums in different trio settings. The first, Trios: Chapel, features guitarist Bill Frisell and bassist Thomas Morgan.
Adam Camardella of Santa Barbara Sound Design has recorded many of Lloyd's recent albums, and they're all sonic delights. For road shows, like this, he uses a Neumann 103 on the sax, ADK Zigmas over the drums, and various dynamic mics for the guitar and bass, all plugged into 96/24 Pro Tools. His father, Dominic, a veteran jazz engineer, mixed the results on Neve analog modules. The results are superb. Lloyd sounds vibrant, warm, and full-blooded. Frisell's flickering notes - some horn-like, some full strums - are caught lightning fast and clear. The slight reverb is artificial (it had to be added in the mix, because the Pro Tools 8-track set-up lacked enough tracks for a room mic), but it's skillfully done; it sounds like natural ambience.
Now in his eighties, Charles Lloyd may play with a bit less urgency and ferocity than in his youth, but his tone - on tenor sax and alto flute - is warmer and more luminescent than ever.
The close relationship Frisell and Lloyd have fostered is built on a shared musical DNA of homespun, black-rooted popular Americana and a certain spiritual, some might say spaced-out, vibe. It's superbly grounded by the addition of the elegantly responsive bassist Thomas Morgan, a close collaborator of Frisell's.
Charles Lloyd, at 84, is still a seeker. He has conceived a new ensemble format, the drummerless trio, and expressed it in three personnel configurations on three new recordings. All are among the top jazz albums of 2022. Chapel is favored here because it beautifully juxtaposes two dissimilar languages of lyricism (Lloyd's and Bill Frisell's), and because Thomas Morgan, who used to be the best young bass player in jazz, is now the best bass player, period.
- Vinyl LP
- First Installment in the Trio of Trios Project
- Produced by Dorothy Darr & Charles Lloyd
- Supervised by 'Tone Poet' Joe Harley
- Recorded Live by Adam Camardella at Elizabeth Huth Coates Chapel, Southwest School of Art, San Antonio, TX
- Mixed by Dom Camardella at Santa Barbara Sound Design, Santa Barbara, CA
- Mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Mastering, North Hills, CA
- Gatefold Jacket
- Made in Germany
|Charles Lloyd||tenor saxophone, alto flute|
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