Charles Lloyd, New Quartet: Passin’ Thru

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COMPOSERS: Charles Lloyd
LABELS: Blue Note
ALBUM TITLE: Charles Lloyd, New Quartet
WORKS: Passin’ Thru
PERFORMER: Charles Lloyd (sax), Jason Moran (piano), Reuben Rogers (bass), Eric Harland (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: 002670301


On this live album Lloyd revisits several of ‘my many children’, and it’s fascinating to hear how his view of these fine compositions has evolved. The earliest include ‘Passin’ Thru’, recorded in 1962 with Chico Hamilton, ‘How Can I Tell You’, recorded for Columbia in 1964, and ‘Dream Weaver’ and ‘Tagore’ featured with his breakthrough quartet on its late-1960s tours and recordings. His adoption in recent decades of a more discursive style, featuring idiosyncratic pitching and a tone that sometimes risked evaporating entirely, seems to evince the experience of his years as a transcendental meditation teacher.


A more contemplative sense of questing has succeeded the raw, driving, Memphis-rooted blues feeling of his 1950s and ’60s work. That said, he can still cut it: witness ‘Nu Blues’ here. This is another valuable step in his intriguing
six-decade journey of discovery, escorted by the highly talented trio
of Moran, Rogers and Harland.
Barry Witherden