Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Charles Lloyd Quartet - 1971 - The Flowering

The Charles Lloyd Quartet 
The Flowering

01. Speak Low 8:26
02. Love-In / Island Blues 6:19
03. Wilpan's 6:39
04. Gypsy '66 14:11
05. Goin' To Memphis / Island Blues 7:04

Bass – Cecil McBee
Drums – Jack DeJohnette
Sax, Flute – Charles Lloyd
Piano – Keith Jarrett

Recorded in concert at Aulean Hall, Oslo, Norway.

The Flowering is one of the best of the late 60s Charles Lloyd albums on Atlantic -- inferior only to Dream Weaver, in my opinion. Lloyd's tenor playing, occasionally noodly or unfocused on some of this quartet's recordings, is quite powerful here. The rest of the quartet (Keith Jarrett, Cecil McBee, and Jack DeJohnette) is in fine form on these 1966 live recordings from Europe. The material leans quite heavily on progressive post-bop, with less of the accessible crossover material that appears on other recordings.

The album opens with a brisk take on Kurt Weill's "Speak Low", including a great solo introduction by Lloyd. "Love-In" gets a more mellow, less peppy interpretation than on the album of that same name; after a gospelly solo by Keith Jarrett, it leads to the first of two versions of "Island Blues", this time with Lloyd on flute. "Wilpan's" is an up-tempo modal number composed by McBee, reminiscent of "Impressions" and "So What". "Gypsy '66" (aka Gabor Szabo's "Lady Gabor") gets an intense, lengthy workout with some intense Lloyd flute and one of Jarrett's best solos from this period. The album closes with yet another medley including "Island Blues", this time with a nice downhome solo by Lloyd on tenor.

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