CHARLES LLOYD QUAR­TET Mir­ror (ECM)

Pasatiempo - - Pasa Tempos -

Charles Lloyd started out about five decades ago work­ing in bands led by Howlin’ Wolf, Chico Hamil­ton, and Can­non­ball Ad­der­ley. In re­cent years, he has fo­cused his mu­sic as a spir­i­tual search. He told Pasatiempo in 2008, “In my pur­suit, I am try­ing to fin­ish up on the good foot, to reach that high where I don’t have to come back to this vale of tears.” He opens Mir­ror (play­ing alto) with “I Fall in Love too Eas­ily (for Lily),” a spare, hon­est cover of the lovely bal­lad. “Des­o­la­tion Sound” fea­tures his won­der­ful tenor tone on sus­tained notes, with enough air to lend a peace­ful na­ture to the pro­ceed­ings. Pi­anist Ja­son Mo­ran con­trib­utes a bright solo into the strong, col­or­ful mu­si­cal mix. The ti­tle track is a gor­geous piece of mod­ern jazz — easy, lyrical, and mem­o­rable. The leader and Mo­ran cre­ate com­pelling state­ments, while drum­mer Eric Harland and bassist Reuben Rogers are more than per­fectly sup­port­ing, mul­ti­ply­ing the in­ter­est with their own fla­vor vari­a­tions and ideas. The disc closes with a loose, skit­tery update of the 1900 an­them “Lift Ev­ery Voice and Sing”; Lloyd’s “Be­ing and Be­com­ing, Road to Dak­shineswar,” a jour­ney full of side trips with moods rang­ing from fre­netic to med­i­ta­tive; and the In­dia-tinged “Tagi,” Lloyd first speak­ing po­et­i­cally over drone­like sounds and then of­fer­ing tenor con­clu­sions. It’s a won­der­ful al­bum!— Paul Wei­de­man

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