Sangham

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Charles Lloyd
LABELS: ECM
ALBUM TITLE: Charles Lloyd
PERFORMER: Charles Lloyd (saxophones, tárogató, flutes, piano, percussion), Zakir Hussain (tabla, voice, percussion), Eric Harland (drums, percussion, piano)
CATALOGUE NO: ECM 987 5183

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Even allowing for the diversity of the genre this is, quite simply, the single best jazz release I’ve heard for months. This is a live recording (in itself something of a rarity for ECM) that captures Lloyd’s 2004 memorial concert for his late friend Billy Higgins.

The latter was a masterly drummer, so it seems appropriate that percussion of various kinds should feature prominently in this performance. While Hussain’s tabla inevitably lend colouration to the music as a whole, what’s truly effective here is the trio’s ability to create a musical experience far greater than the sum of what in actual terms is a fairly sparse set of parts.

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The tensile silences that hold this music together are almost sounds in their own right, yet delicate piano solos and blues riffs can emerge seemingly from nowhere and immediately belong. Recorded sound is atmospheric, warm and full of detail.