Released on 27/09/10. Memphis, Tennessee. Was the place where Charles Lloyd, one of the great jazz saxophonists, was born. And where music got right into his soul.
Lloyd’s credentials are impressive on all counts. Shortly after graduating from the University of Southern California in 1960, he joined the Chicago Hamilton Quintet. In late 1961, Chico broke up the group and reorganised it with Charles as musical director in charge of repertoire and personnel. As an instrumentalist, Charles Lloyd is forceful and imaginative improviser with a warmly rich tone and a technical command enabling him to cut loose with an emotional abandon that nevertheless remains in control. As a composer, he combines the gift for melodic development and structural form with that invaluable quality of identifiability. Once you have heard a few Lloyd compositions, you will recognize his personal stamp, just as one can spot a new composition by, say, Thelonious Monk.
'Nirvana', is perhaps the finest album from the Charles Lloyd Quartet following on from 'Discovery! His band at the time was a spread of true giants. On piano there was Keith Jarrett, on bass there was Ron McClure and drums one Jack De Johnette. It was an impressive conglomeration and counterbalance of ability. But it was most decidedly led by Lloyd.
While the Charles Lloyd Quartet had more significant commercial success with other albums, there is a strong case to be made that they were never better than here. This is inventive, accessible, yet also has a depth and range that proved it could appeal to the traditionalists while at the same time attracting a younger audience, one that didn't want to hear old school jazz, but wanted something that allowed them to get 'high' on the music. This was it.
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