Sunday, March 16, 2008

Charles Lloyd-Rabo de Nube-ECM

What manner of jazz player would use the Tarogato? Let alone know what the darn thing is. A double reed instrument akin in sound sphere to the soprano sax and clarinet dating back to 15th century Hungary Charles Lloyd could pull it off with relative ease. Play it as though it where just another day of breathing in and breathing out.
Charles Lloyd ultimately has come to terms with his past.
And this new 'live' recording, Rabo de Nube bears witness as another savory chapter of his path to even greater depths of theopathic enlightenment. His life as is his music is one of realized holism - focused and divinated. His recordings since joining the ECM label in the early 90s document this clearly.
His classic quartet of 1967 Keith Jarret, Cecil McBee and Jack Dejohnette prompted his cause de celebre vaulting his critical acclaim into a nether world betwixt flower power pop and hard core jazz clamour. A musical limbo that would pummel Lloyd headlong into the vapid abyss of mass record label's nebulous labyrinth.
Then comes the mid 70s and then...silence...off the landscape radar only to resurface in the mid 80s as part of a series of labels with all star aggregations and guest appearances.
In search of inner peace Lloyd was said to have hidden himself away, donning the sequestered life of a monk in contemplation. It was no secret he sheltered himself from public scrutiny to purge himself of the human condition, human frailties. Lloyd would retreat from the razor laden avenues of the music industry in order to submerge himself, wash his soul inside out in universal philosophical principles and practices. In the early 90s with ECM Charles Lloyd would not re-invent himself but to the contrary be reborn.
Captured in front of a 'live' audience 'Rabo de Nube find Lloyd and his youthful charges pianist Jason Moran, bassist Ruben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland at the very height of their prowess. Rogers and Harland have been with the master for some five years now and Moran is the newcomer to the group, bringing a festive Pullenesque unrestraint, scaffolding the music plateau that is Charles Lloyd. His performance is nothing less than incredible. Rogers is the second coming of McBee. Lloyd's program of originals each tell stories of love, heartbreak and the souls very existence.
As for Lloyd the soloist himself we are entreated to his signature soothing flutters of seering soul, his endearing and penetrating cry, not only carrying the heroic mantle of Coltrane but furthering the very essence of God music itself. Charles Lloyd is our era's musical father. A cleric, a vicar an evangelist of jazz. This music is a gift to the world.