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Charles Lloyd

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
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Anyone here know much about Charles Lloyd? He's been on the periphery of my sax knowledge for some time but recently he's come up quite a it on spotify and I've been absolutely blown away by his playing every time he comes up. Can anyone guide me through his considerable discography- I think he might well be becoming one of my favourite tenor players
 

thomsax

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I like him as well. I heard him the other year at Ystad Jazz Festival. He played with B,B. King, Howlin' Wolf, Bobby Bland, The Beach Boys, and even on The Doors albume "Full Circle (post Morrison) on the song "Verdilac" earlier in his career. Maybe that's why I like him? IMO he is not only playing for himself at the stage. ;)
 

John Laughter

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GJ77

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I love Charles Lloyd, and his gig at Ronnie’s a couple of years back was astonishing. A glorious tone, an original approach and a really humble, friendly man.

If you get the opportunity, see him live.
 

Greg Strange

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There was an interesting interview with Charles Lloyd in "Saxophone Journal" magazine a number of years ago. If I recall correctly from the interview he gave up music during the 1970s and was a real estate agent in Northern California......recent albums Charles has been playing with the great guitarist Bill Frisell and in "Downbeat" magazine he is always ranked as one of the top tenor players and flute players......anyway Charles Lloyd playing alto (!?)...

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKqnfdBfaEw


Greg S.
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
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I love Charles Lloyd, and his gig at Ronnie’s a couple of years back was astonishing. A glorious tone, an original approach and a really humble, friendly man.

If you get the opportunity, see him live.
I absolutely will. He's rapidly becoming my favourite tenor player- or at least the one who's playing speaks to me most. interestingly his website says he's playing in London in November (but doesn't specify which year)
 

GJ77

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There was an interesting interview with Charles Lloyd in "Saxophone Journal" magazine a number of years ago. If I recall correctly from the interview he gave up music during the 1970s and was a real estate agent in Northern California......recent albums Charles has been playing with the great guitarist Bill Frisell and in "Downbeat" magazine he is always ranked as one of the top tenor players and flute players......anyway Charles Lloyd playing alto (!?)...

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKqnfdBfaEw


Greg S.
What a gorgeous alto sound.
 

Wade Cornell

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There aren't a lot of sax players that I listen to, but Charles Lloyd is one. I've been following him since the 1960s when he put out an album that blew my mind. "Forest Flower". It also featured an unknown Keith Jarrett. I've been fortunate enough to see him live in recent years and his technique and melodic sensibility has always impressed. Although from a "jazz" background he never seemed (to me) to be stuck in restating that period and always moved forward. He seldom plays "standards" so takes you on a new journey with each play.

He has a most interesting way of being "intense", and it's the opposite of most players. When others would be screaming through their horn he goes "quiet". It's the same a whispering: you listen more intently. A neat trick I've found very useful.
 

jbtsax

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I was first introduced to Charles Lloyd in the late 60's when the quartet I played in played his composition "Third Floor Richard" for a collegiate jazz festival. "Third Floor Richard", was a tune written in honor of a dealer who lived on the third floor of Lloyd's building. It perfectly represents his sometimes "off the wall" style of music.

 
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Wade Cornell

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I had a couple of his 60s albums, (Forest flower, and a live festival gig), I enjoyed his style, but never felt it worth pursuing or transcribing because it was so individual. Rediscovered him as featured artist on this £1 pawnshop find, a beautiful Mark Isham soundtrack:
View: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=p0r1sJmMjQw

The transcribing presumption I find strange in most cases. Enjoy what any artist does and their unique way of playing. There is no need to copy anyone. Be yourself and develop you! We are continually bombarded with sound and influences anyway that are likely to contribute to what we become.

Does anyone here get off on tribute bands? Why would anyone wish to be a poor copy of an original? Transcribing can help some who need to see notes, or wish to develop riffs and tricks, but IMHO should be done in very small doses without the intention of trying to wear another musician's skin...regardless of whether they are unique or bland.
 

jbtsax

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The transcribing presumption I find strange in most cases. Enjoy what any artist does and their unique way of playing. There is no need to copy anyone. Be yourself and develop you! We are continually bombarded with sound and influences anyway that are likely to contribute to what we become.

Does anyone here get off on tribute bands? Why would anyone wish to be a poor copy of an original? Transcribing can help some who need to see notes, or wish to develop riffs and tricks, but IMHO should be done in very small doses without the intention of trying to wear another musician's skin...regardless of whether they are unique or bland.
Another benefit of transcribing I have found useful is to learn style and articulation which aspiring jazz players need to master as much as or even more than figuring out what notes and rhythms to play when improvising.
 

Wade Cornell

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I think there is a division between those who have no ambition other than to recreate what has happened in the past and those who wish to be or become the future. The players most admired from the 1950s/60s were not copying players from the 1920s. They moved forward and developed a style that was novel and attracted a wide following. Using the same articulation, phrases, and especially the same tunes as those players isn't taking players forward. Charles Lloyd is a great example of a unique talent who went his own way. He built upon what happened in the past (since he was a part of it) and kept building. A player today, if they are going to be relevant, needs to be playing in the 21st century, not the mid 20th century. How many thousands of players are there out there with jazz music degrees who are making a living from copying mid 20th century jazz?

Study and learn from the past, but play in the present. Being aware of a wider world of music than just 20th century jazz is far more important. No audience today cares about academically correct (imitation) of the way someone 60 years ago played a sax. You can either communicate to your audience or not. Playing variations on "standards", (tunes nobody under 70 knows unless they have academically studied jazz) isn't exactly a crowd pleaser. Having nothing to say other than you've practiced a lot and have fast fingers and an ego also isn't much of a draw. Even the much more recent five minute guitar ego solo is a thing of the past.

Once again Charles Lloyd understood this and continually moved forward. He has successfully transitioned into the present by having his own style and not musically living in the past.
 

AndyWhiteford

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lol - I guess, at the time, I was needing or wanting to acquire a more “mainstream” way of playing, for the ska / bluesband / jazz quartet/ vocalist/ bigband gigs I was doing and chasing. I had no gigs nor knew no fellow musicians in the Lloyd style. imho, it’s hard to criticise anyone for wanting to sound & improvise like Dexter did in 1967 or Sonny Stitt did in 1966, compared to the much more “modern” music Charles Lloyd was making... in 1964 and 1965....
 

Wade Cornell

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lol - I guess, at the time, I was needing or wanting to acquire a more “mainstream” way of playing, for the ska / bluesband / jazz quartet/ vocalist/ bigband gigs I was doing and chasing. I had no gigs nor knew no fellow musicians in the Lloyd style. imho, it’s hard to criticise anyone for wanting to sound & improvise like Dexter did in 1967 or Sonny Stitt did in 1966, compared to the much more “modern” music Charles Lloyd was making... in 1964 and 1965....

It's up to each individual to play in whatever style they like or just copy someone's style they like. The problem is that many/most are taught to play in a mid last century style and encouraged to copy someone. That's not a good prescription for aiming at professionalism or being able to play well in any other style. We are what we play. If your time is spent trying to perfect a Dexter Gordon sound and tunes from his time, then that's what you have to offer. Not dissing anyone who chooses that. Just not respecting the attitude of "nobody wants to listen to me and the rest of the world should be actively supporting music from 60 + years ago". I find it hard to believe that people wanting to learn sax have no abition to play for others or possibly become a pro, yet they are encouraged to learn an antiquated style that has little/no relevance to today's audiences. Enough said...back to Charles Lloyd who remains a good example of being in the present tense and drawing in audiences.
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
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I knew nothing about him, so thanks for starting this thread @Jules ; he may already be one of my favourite players.
To be honest, I hardly knew anything about him until very recently- aside from the the fact I'd pigeon holed him as a 1960s free jazz freak out type of player (something I love in small doses but rapidly wears thin). The more I hear of him the more he seems to really hit the spot- gorgeous tenor tone, lyrical, not afraid to leave a lot of space in his playing, nods to R&B and gospel.. just lovely stuff
 

JamesOxford

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Yes he seems to have carved out his own space and I feel he is unhurried by external influences. As you say he’s achieved a great lyrical tone.
 

AndyWhiteford

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I have "Jumping the creek" (2005), "Sangam" (2006), "Voice in the night" (1999) and "Forest Flower" (1966). All beautiful music, s'funny how I thought my albums were all from 60's and 70's. Let's say "lyrical" and "timeless", easy to see why he worked with the ECM label for so long.
p.s. tenor setup is, I think, a metal Otto Link on an old Conn NWII
 

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