Josef Woodard, Charles Lloyd: A Wild, Blatant Truth (Silman-James Press)
Josef Woodard’s book about Charles Lloyd is more akin to a long conversation than a biography. A veteran jazz journalist and practicing musician, Woodard uses his story-telling and research skills to trace the saxophonist’s life from his Memphis beginnings to his current resurgence as a major jazz figure. Lloyd is a collaborator in the telling. Over a quarter of a century, the two spent countless hours talking about Lloyd’s career, his spiritual mysticism and his profound belief in jazz as a music of freedom. That tenet and his philosophical convictions guided him from the early days of success with his 1960s “Forest Flower” quartet, sustained him through years of seclusion on the Big Sur coast of California and guided him when he resumed performing. Lloyd’s professional, spiritual and personal partnership with Dorothy Darr makes the book also a moving love story.