The December 1999 sessions that produced The Water Is Wide yielded enough material for a second album. Hyperion With Higgins is the result, and its title reflects the sad fact that Billy Higgins, Lloyd's friend and soul mate and the session's drummer, passed away not long after the music was put to tape. The music's spiritual quality is heightened by the after-the-fact dedication. Quite unlike The Water Is Wide, Hyperion With Higgins is comprised entirely of Lloyd's original compositions, although the same lineup is featured: Lloyd, Higgins, John Abercrombie, Brad Mehldau, and Larry Grenadier.
Stunning performance in front of a huge audience at the open air Odeon of Herodes Atticus, as Charles Lloyd, uniquely-expressive saxophonist, and Maria Farantouri, Greece’s voice of resistance, come together. Friends for some years, this is their first recorded collaboration. Lloyd’s brilliant quartet is on hand - with Jason Moran in especially creative mode - augmented by lyra player Socratis Sinopoulos and second pianist Takis Frazio in a marvelous programme that includes songs by Mikis Theoedorakis, suites of Greek traditional music, Eleni Karaindrou’s “Journey to Kythera” and Lloyd originals including his classic “Dream Weaver”. “Athens Concert” is a major event, a very special live album indeed.
At 74, American saxophonist Charles Lloyd stands more creatively tall and publically esteemed than at any time since his midlife comeback after a two-decade sabbatical. These two New York shows are from his first celebrity years, in 1965, with Hungarian guitarist Gábor Szabó (Lloyd’s former partner in Chico Hamilton’s band), Miles Davis bassist Ron Carter, and the hard-hitting former Sonny Rollins drummer Pete La Roca. Lloyd’s enduring interest in Hungarian music probably began with Szabó, and the guitarist’s brittle, jangling sound often resembles that of a cimbalom or dulcimer on these six long tracks.