Charles Lloyd Quartet / Swiss Radio Days Jazz Series Vol. 46
With Charles, it all started with an autograph…
As we all know, one small moment in a life can have incalculable and unexpected effects... June 18, 1967, thanks to parents who adored Jazz and who certainly would not have missed the arrival of a new festival at their doorstep, I found myself with festival program in hand, prodded along by my father, going up sheepishly and asking for an autograph from this tall and very impressive man by the name of Charles Lloyd. I still remember his reaction: first surprised, then charming, warm, attentive, and... concerned. He took his time and said lots of very nice things to me that although I didn’t understand in words, I did with my heart! That day I told myself that Jazz was a very fine music indeed if you met people so vibrant and... cool!
Pianist Keith Jarrett, bassist Ron McClure and drummer Jack DeJohnette dance around the dervish which is Charles Lloyd, augmenting the music of the quartet with all the liberties, all the daring and finally all the craziness that allow the leader to take flight to his improvisational territories of predilection. The music is carnal, expressive as hell itself and knows how to take its time through changing climates like so many steps mounting to a kind of grandiose ecstatic crescendo. And that which strikes one today, listening to this music aged more than five decades, is that it remains totally unwrinkled and that the freedom and freshness it exudes, while being an unmistakable announcement of the upcoming Free Jazz as well as different streams of "spiritual" music, never lose the listener but launches him on a breathtaking journey from which he returns transformed and... bettered! In addition, one also has the impression that the art of each of the four instrumentalists, who have not stopped evolving since then and have all been in their own rights acclaimed and recognized, already contains all the nuggets and qualities of their future productions and projects; without any of them having to be apologetic for the effects of time or the harsh law of changing styles with regard to this legendary Montreux performance.
This music remains as alive and eloquent as it was revealing for many at the time of its creation, and can now be made "public" for the second time - once and for all! Justice is also achieved for the four outstanding musicians, whom I wish to thank very sincerely for their trust.
So now it remains for listeners to discover or rediscover the music of the Charles Lloyd Quartet recorded at the very first Montreux Jazz Festival in 1967!... and they can celebrate, because this voyage is assuredly extraordinary!
Radio Producer & musician
Consultant Swiss Radio Days Jazz Series
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