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Charles Lloyd Quartet: Mirror

Veteran sax pioneer Charles Lloyd and his current Quartet, comprised of pianist Jason Moran, drummer Eric Harland, and double bassist Reuben Rogers, deliver their first studio release here, titled Mirror. This is a classy and breezy affair, as the Quartet have recorded a handful of Lloyd originals as well as some covers, which should please jazz fans of all ages.

The synergy between all four musicians is quite impressive; just listen to Harland's tight cymbal work underneath the slippery bass lines of Rogers on "Go Down Moses", which gives way to shimmering piano from Moran and a sizzling, sultry sax solo from Lloyd. There's a nice mix here of majestic, laid back jazz, such as their interpretation of Brian Wilson's "Caroline, No" and the smoky new piece "Desolation Sound", as well as more classic sounds, which can be heard on great covers of Thelonious Monk's "Monk's Mood" and "Ruby, My Dear", both featuring some fantastic tinkling of the ivories courtesy of Moran. Title track "Mirror" is a tour-de-force of passionate sax melodies from Lloyd, and the lovely "The Water Is Wide" has plenty of swing, yet just the right amount of restraint, ultimately letting all four players get in their licks but never relying on showboating. The same can be said for the smoldering "Being and Becoming", a track that builds and builds in intensity, with Lloyd's cascade of notes flurrying over dissonant piano and Harland's rampaging stick work, yet just as the song starts to reach a furious crescendo, all four bring it back to a calm and tranquil finale.

It's sometimes hard to believe just how many strong jazz releases ECM Records churns out on a regular basis, but Mirror is indeed another fine addition to their already rich catalog. Charles Lloyd has himself a very fine Quartet here, and let's hope these four talented musicians continue to create music as inspiring as this for years to come.

Track Listing

  1. I Fall In Love Too Easily
  2. Go Down Moses
  3. Desolation Sound
  4. La Llorona
  5. Caroline, No
  6. Monk's Mood
  7. Mirror
  8. Ruby, My Dear
  9. The Water is Wide
  10. Lift Every Voice and Sing
  11. Being and Becoming
  12. Tagi

Added: October 8th 2010
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: ECM Records
Hits: 1862
Language: english

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