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World Music CD Reviews Jazz

Charles Lloyd Quartet

By Jeff Tamarkin
Published July 18, 2008

Rabo De Nube

Saxophonist and flutist Charles Lloyd has been with the ECM label for nearly 20 years, and this is his first live quartet session for the imprint. The additional firepower is maximized throughout: Lloyd hasn’t lost any of his exuberance or inquisitiveness, and in the young award-winning pianist Jason Moran, he’s found someone wholly complementary—a sharp-minded, fleet-fingered musician as eager as Lloyd is to jump without a parachute. On 2006’s Sangam (also recorded live), Lloyd surrounded himself solely with two percussionists: drummer Eric Harland and tabla master Zakir Hussain. Harland returns here, but his co-anchor is the expressive, hyper-creative bassist Reuben Rogers. Accordingly, this set— recorded in Switzerland last year and comprised entirely of Lloyd originals save for the title track, with most clocking in at more than 10 minutes— has less of an international flavor to it and more of a fiery, free-for all jazz vibe. Now 70, Lloyd continues to shun predictability and decorum, remaining the eternal seeker.