Charles Lloyd • Jason Moran

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Charles Lloyd; Jason Moran
LABELS: ECM
ALBUM TITLE: Charles Lloyd • Jason Moran
WORKS: Hagar’s Song
PERFORMER: Charles Lloyd; Jason Moran
CATALOGUE NO: 3724550

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The title piece, which includes a rare outing on alto sax, is an affecting, sometimes upsetting suite evoking the life of Lloyd’s great great grandmother, abused and impregnated by a slave owner. Lloyd reminds us that slavery is still rife in some parts of the world.

Elsewhere the memories are far more pleasant, with Lloyd paying homage to early idols such as Duke Ellington, arranger Billy Strayhorn, Gershwin, pianist Earl Hines and Billie Holiday, whom the eight-year-old Lloyd wanted to marry. He also recalls his associations with The Band and The Beach Boys during his ‘studio years’ (he spent nearly two decades away from the live scene, studying yoga, teaching Transcendental Meditation and doing session work) and the CD ends with a charming version of ‘God Only Knows’.

Moran ably paces Lloyd in his more leftfield moments, as well as contributing beautifully to the lyrical ballads like ‘You’ve Changed’, and he has great fun with pre-bop styles on ‘Rosetta’.

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Barry Witherden