Charles Lloyd Presents A New Album

The jazz saxophonist Charles Lloyd has recorded a new album. Tone Poem is now his third work with The Marvels. By the way, Bill Frisell is one of them. The musician from Memphis, Tennessee, is consequently continuing his musical journey. After all, it was he who brought jazz together with the rhythm of rock. His harmonious mixture of jazz, rock, blues and folk quickly needed the attention of a young audience. Lloyd has been an integral part of the music scene since the 1960s.

Charles Lloyd Presents A New Album
Charles Lloyd Presents A New Album

He found his style back then. He was interested in pop and rock and performed with musicians of these genres again and again. He has worked with musicians from Beach Boys and Pink Floyd in the past. It is, therefore, no surprise that he interprets a piece by Leonard Cohen on his new album. Anthem was anything but an easy selection for its composer because he worked on the song for almost ten years. He recorded it three times in total. Even after that, he wasn’t delighted with the result. Cohen once said, if you stick to a song long enough, it eventually gives way.

No Musical Limits

This way of working is not alien to jazz. The musicians are constantly working on improving and re-exploring their material. That also happens on Tone Poem by The Marvels. Lloyd founded the band in 2016 and is now presenting their third work. Just like Leonard Cohen, he used Zen meditation to free himself from his oversized ego. In the new version of Anthem, he meditates with Greg Leisz on the melody he brings to blossom.

The Marvels know no musical boundaries. Here Jazz, Latin, Country and Rock flow into one another and are extensively celebrated. It even comes to the point that the band is reworking a piece from the previous album. The Marvels’ featured Monk’s Mood already on their second work. This time it occupies a central element in the record in a ten-minute version. That is the first current work that Blue Note has published in the label’s audiophile series. The makers usually only pay this honour to rarities from the past.

No Musical Limits
No Musical Limits

On his new album, the master relies on tradition again. So the record begins with two pieces by Ornette Coleman. While Peace is still simmering quietly, Ramblin turns up a lot. Here the grooves of Bill Frisell on guitar and the gasping tenor saxophone from Lloyd dominated. With Lady Gabor, the band turns in the direction of Carlos Santana before Bill Frisell can try his hand at the Cuban classic Ay Amor. Lloyd makes a relaxed version of it that pays homage to the original. Finally, Prayer concludes a strong album with a musical piece that turns his gaze upwards. Charles Lloyd is following his tradition, which he has been cultivating for many years. He also addresses prayers on his album cover to those who died in the past years. The old master convinces again on Tone Poem with skill and empathy.