Charles Lloyd, Wild Man Dance (Blue Note)
For the first three minutes of the opening “Flying Over The Odra Valley,” the Greek lyra of Sokratis Sinopoulos and the Hungarian cimbalom of Miklós Lucáks play what might be music for yoga meditation. Then the commanding tonality and rhythmic push of Lloyd’s tenor saxophone charge the atmosphere, and the exotic stringed instruments meld with his quartet in a suite fascinating in its variety and depth. In six movements, Lloyd, pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Joe Sanders and drummer Gerald Cleaver make the most of the opportunities in Lloyd’s composition. All have stunning solos, notably so in the kaleidoscopic fourth movement, “River.” Elsewhere, blends of their instruments with Lucáks’s cimbalom and Sinopoulos’s lyra produce colors that heighten the suite’s air of reflection and purpose. This could be for Lloyd in the new century what his hit album Forest Flower was in the last.
For a Rifftides review of Lloyd at the 2014 Ystad Jazz Festival, go here.