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.
The distinctive cry of Sokratis Sinopoulos’ Constantinople lyra has previously been heard on ECM recordings of Eleni Karaindrou (The Weeping Meadow, Elegy of the Uprooting, Medea) and Charles Lloyd/Maria Farantouri (Athens Concert). The Athens-born Sinopoulos has played a key role in the revival of interest in the lyra in Greece, both in traditional music contexts and in the shaping of new music. Sinopoulos’s reflective compositions and yearning ballads on Eight Winds cede the central melodic role to the lyra, sensitively supported by the piano of Yann Keerim and the subtle bass and drums of Dimitris Tsekouras and Dimitris Emmanuel.
“Sangam” is the first release from Charles Lloyd’s exciting new trio with Indian tabla master Zakir Hussain and Eric Harland, the gifted drummer from his ‘regular’ quartet. The album – Lloyd’s first live disc for ECM – was recorded in California in 2004. Taped at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara in the context of a memorial concert for Billy Higgins, it brings to the surface some ‘Eastern’ enthusiasms that have been part of Lloyd’s palette for a very long time.
Reissue with latest 2014 DSD remastering. Comes with liner notes. Nirvana is lovely work from Charles Lloyd – recorded at the point when he was just pushing off from Chico Hamilton's group, and before he got too noodly for his own good! Side one of the record features Lloyd with his own group – jazzing it up in a mix of flute, guitar, and percussion on a number of short tracks that have a light and breezy feel. There's a nice dose of bossa in the set, plus some of the other freer rhythmic styles that Lloyd and Hamilton experimented with together at the time – but all of the tracks have a strong rhythmic pulse, and never lose their groove for too much experimentation. Side two features two wonderful tracks with Hamilton's group at a point when Lloyd was still working with the ensemble – both long tracks with a modal pulse and a great deal of spirituality – again free, but never too much so! A nice little album – with tracks that include "Island Blues", "Carcara", "Long Time Baby", "One For Joan", and "Freedom Traveler".
Saxophonist Charles Lloyd is a forward-thinking musician's musician whose supreme improvisational talents and interest in cross-pollinating jazz with rock as well as non-Western styles of music during the '60s and '70s established him as one of the key figures in the development of fusion and world music.