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CHRIS LLOYD – THE SKY WILL STILL BE THERE TOMORROW (Blue Note) (2 CD, 2 LP, DL) (2024)

Anyone evenly remotely into Jazz should check out the indefatigable sax and woodwinds maestro CHARLES LLOYD, 85-years young and composing and performing more strongly than ever. After the successful trilogy of albums with the Chapel Trio, the Ocean Trio and the Sacred Thread Trio, Charles reverts to a trio: Jason Moran on piano, Larry Grenadier on drums and in-demand Brian Blade on drums.


There is an autobiographical element to the music, written during Lockdown, on ‘Late Bloom’ (title self-explanatory) having a duet with himself on alto and bass flutes after a renaissance in 1989 with the album “Fish out of Water” on the ECM label. ‘Monks Dance’ reflects his fascination with THELONIUS MONK of course; he calls Monk his ‘high priest’. ‘Balm in Gilead’ is based on an old school hymn as he looks backwards as well as forwards., while ‘Booker’s Garden’ is a tribute to his old school friend BOOKER LITTLE who recorded with the likes of ERIC DOLPHY on the live “Five Spot” albums, well worth checking out. Lloyd told JAZZ WISE that he and Little used to listen to BELA BARTOK string quintets in the school library. It goes without saying that ‘Lady Day’ is a tribute to the great BILLIE HOLIDAY.


It all started for Charles Lloyd with the album “Dream Weaver” in 1966 with a stellar line-up of KEITH JARRETT on piano, CECIL McBEE on bass and JACK DE JOHNETTE on drums.

Incidentally, two days after writing this review Charles will be 86: that’s 18th March, the day this eagerly anticipated album will be released.

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