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Charles Lloyd/Jason Moran: Hagar's Song

To practically coincide with legendary sax/flute player Charles Lloyd's 75 birthday, ECM Records is releasing his latest collection of stunning jazz interpretations, this one titled Hagar's Song, performed alongside pianist Jason Moran. Neither has been a stranger to the ECM roster, with Lloyd recording with the label for many years and Moran really making a name for himself in recent years as a member of Lloyd's quartet. Hagar's Song features songs originally written by Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Joe Green, Bob Dylan, and others, in addition to some original Lloyd compositions.

Since there is essentially no rhythm players here, Moran for the most part fills in the void with his gentle, tender piano melodies, over which Lloyd soars over the top with his alluring lead lines and harmonies. When the pianist takes center stage on "Bess, You Is My Woman Now" after some heart tugging lines from Lloyd, the two work magic together. Lloyd's penchant for creating swirling, emotional, and quite lovely melodies can be heard on "Pictogram" (a Lloyd original), and he goes for a more sultry tone on the Carl Fischer piece "You've Changed". For many fans the real highlight on this CD will be the near 30-minute 5 part "Hagar Suite", an extended movement written by Lloyd, filled with sumptuous melodies performed by the duo, and one of these tunes where you just need to close your eyes and let the two musicians take you away on an epic journey. The album closes with two other memorable tunes, a poignant take on Dylan's "I Shall Be Released" (dedicated to the Band's Levon Helm), and a stirring rendition of Brian Wilson's hit "God Only Knows".

Sometimes, it only takes two master musicians to create magic, and Charles Lloyd & Jason Moran have done just that here on Hagar' Song. This is a great sounding release, and once again kudos goes out to ECM Records for delivering a fine product, made even better by the inclusion of a lovely booklet filled with color photos of the duo taken during the recording sessions.

Track Listing
1) Pretty Girl
2) Mood Indigo
3) Bess, You Is My Woman Now
4) Pictogram
5) You've Changed
6) Hagar Suite
I. Journey Up River
II. Dreams of White Bluff
III. Alone
IV. Bolivar Blues
V. Hagar's Lullaby
7) Rosetta
8) I Shall Be Released
9) God Only Knows

Added: March 2nd 2013
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: ECM Records
Hits: 1743
Language: english

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