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I got re-acquainted with the music of tenor saxophonist/ flautist CHARLES LLOYD with his trilogy of 2022 albums “Trios” (“Chapel”, “Sacred” and “Thread”) all on Blue Note. “Vanished Gardens” was recorded in 2018 when Charles was 80 years old, and proved that his energy was undiminished and his playing never better. on a remarkable crossover album combining blues and country with jazz. The sax giant’s guitarist of choice Bill Frisell was joined by pedal steel guitarist Greg Leisz, Reuben Rogers on bass and Eric Harland on drums, The 8:40 of the powerful instrumental opener ‘Defiant’ (a Lloyd original) passes very quickly, and two great Lucinda Williams songs ‘Dust’ and ‘Ventura’ (name checking NEIL YOUNG) get the full treatment. ‘Ballad of the Sad Young Men’ was another particularly impressive piece. There’s also a cover of ‘Monk’s Mood’ with just Lloyd and Frisell and another variation of the trio approach when they are joined by Williams on a striking cover of JIMI HENDRIX’s ‘Angel’. CHARLES LLOYD will be appearing as part of the London Jazz Festival 2023 with his Ocean Trio at the Barbican on 17th November, not to be missed if you’re in the area.

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