Friday, February 2, 2018

The Charles Lloyd Quartet - 1965 - Of Course, Of Course

The Charles Lloyd Quartet
Of Course, Of Course

01. Of Course, Of Course
02. The Song My Lady Sings
03. The Best Thing For You
04. The Things we Did Last Summer
05. Apex
06. One For Joan
07. Goin' To Memphis
08. Voice In The Night
09. Third Floor Richard
10. East Of The Sun (And West Of The Moon)
11. Island Blues
12. Sun Dance

Charles Lloyd - tenor sax, flute
Gabor Szabo - guitar
Robbie Robertson - guitar on track 12
Ron Carter - bass (not tracks 11 & 12)
Tony Williams - drums (not tracks 11 & 12)
Albert Stinson - bass on tracks 11 & 12
Pete LaRoca - drums on tracks 11 & 12

Tracks 2, 3, 4, 7 & 10: May 8, 1964 New York
Tracks 1, 5, 6, 8 & 9: March 8, 1965 New york
Tracks 11 & 12: October 15, 1965 New York

Charles Lloyd's second album as a leader teams him with guitarist Gabor Szabo (his old friend from the Chico Hamilton group), bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Tony Williams. Although Lloyd was still a member of Cannonball Adderley's group, his playing on the set shows that he was clearly ready to become a leader. Seven of the nine diverse compositions are his originals; he takes "The Things We Did Last Summer" as a duet with Szabo and rips through "Apex," a trio number without the guitarist, but it is this cut most certainly reflects Ornette Coleman's influence (whereas Lloyd and everyone else who played tenor were being written about in the shadow of Coltrane). Certainly Coltrane's flurry of notes and deconstruction of chords is evident in places, but here, it is Coleman's unshakable sense of melody and rhyme that is most prevalent, and it sports is a brief but wonderfully woody solo by Carter. Other notable selections include "Goin' to Memphis" and Sammy Kahn's "Things We Did Last Summer" (where, according to Stanley Crouch's new liner notes, the saxophonist directly quotes the melody of Coleman's "Free at 3:00 of..."). Other cuts that really stand out here are the title track and the serious blowing session of "One for Joan," where the twinning and counterpoint interplay between Szabo and Lloyd is almost synchronous. Whether on tenor or flute, Lloyd was quickly coming into his own as an original voice, and this underrated set is a minor classic. [In 2007, Mosiac Records in its Singles series, reissued the recording for the first time on CD. In addition to a beautiful remastering job that is warm and clean, there are three bonus tracks also recorded in 1965 but not released until Lloyd's Nirvana album in 1968. Two of these, "Island Blues," and "Sun Dance" feature Albert Stinson on bass and Pete La Roca on drums in place of Carter and Williams. Another oddity is that in addition to Szabo's guitar playing, the Band's Robbie Robertson makes an appearance on the Caribbean-flavored latter tune. The other bonus cut, "East of the Sun and West of the Moon," uses the primary rhythm section, and was recorded for the original session, and left off the final version of the LP.]

It's unfortunate that, of all of the fantastic albums Charles Lloyd made as a leader in the sixties, this one, his second, is so hard to find. Mosaic made a small batch in the late 2000s (that quickly sold out), and now that same mastering is being released in Japan at a decent price. Why would a record featuring Tony Williams on drums, Ron Carter on bass, and Gabor Szabo on (amazing) gypsy-esque guitar get so overlooked? It turns out that there's something of an answer.

Prior to this album, Lloyd had been making surprisingly intense music with a Chico Hamilton band that included Szabo (and Albert Stinson), and sometimes trombone. These records (especially "Man of Two Worlds") would integrate Coltrane-style modal work with a surprisingly fiery band, and all four albums with that lineup should be purchased before this one. Lloyd then made two albums for Columbia that are both very good, but are both substantially more commercial than the albums with Hamilton. The recently issued (and VERY wonderful) live recordings made around this time with Szabo and Carter joined with drummer Pete LaRoca seem to blame Columbia records for this, as Lloyd is in high energy live with much the same band, moving into (light) avant-garde territory and lots of depth. So is this worth the time then?

Of course, of course. Lloyd has some terrific originals paired with more commercial covers, and the first half in particular (especially the surprising duet with Szabo on "The Things We Did Last Summer") really gets it. "Apex" has a nice fire to it, and the title track has been re-covered by Lloyd throughout his career for a reason: it's one of his best. The second side, though, cools a bit much. Nothing's wrong, of course, but even Williams can't seem to get worked up in the blues workout "Third Floor Richard", and the way the band tears up the stage on the live set, it's clear that they're holding back a bit. That Lloyd got dropped by Columbia before he could complete a third record that fall (later released as most of "Nirvana") is telling to the concern Lloyd must have had with staying on the label. Still, this is a good one, and fans of any of these musicians can be recommended to buy it. First, however, consider those amazing Hamilton records, or pick up "Manhattan Stories", which contains the two live sets referenced above. By the time of his next studio record, "Dream Weaver", Lloyd would have his "classic quartet" gathered, and he would make no less than seven live albums in three years after, showing the love the public gave that band. But first he was here, and if nothing else it shows a major artist in transition, not quite as strong as he soon would be.

Charles Lloyd - 1964 - Discovery!

Charles Lloyd 

01. Forest Flower 7:44
02. How Can I Tell You? 5:09
03. Little Peace 6:23
04. Bizarre 4:15
05. Days Of Wine And Roses 5:45
06. Sweet Georgia Bright 5:36
07. Love Song To A Baby 5:47
08. Ol' Five Spot 6:25

Bass – Eddie Khan (tracks: A1, A4, B1, B4), Richard Davis (2) (tracks: A2, A3, B2, B3)
Drums – J.C. Moses (tracks: A2, A3, B2, B3), Roy Haynes (tracks: A1, A4, B1, B4)
Piano – Don Friedman
Tenor Saxophone, Flute – Charles Lloyd

Charles Lloyd was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on March 15, 1938. Like New Orleans, 400 miles to the south on the Mississippi, Memphis has a rich river culture and musical heritage saturated in blues, gospel and jazz. Lloyd's ancestry of African, Cherokee, Mongolian, and Irish reflects a similar rich culture. He was given his first saxophone at the age of 9, and was riveted to 1940's radio broadcasts by Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Billie Holiday and Duke Ellington. His early teachers included pianist Phineas Newborn and saxophonist Irvin Reason. His closest childhood friend was the great trumpeter Booker Little. As a teenager Lloyd played jazz with saxophonist George Coleman and was a sideman for blues greats Johnny Ace, Bobby Blue Bland, Howlin' Wolf and B.B. King.
Classical music also exerted a strong pull on the young Lloyd. In 1956 he left Memphis for Los Angeles to earn a degree in music at USC where he studied with Halsey Stevens, a foremost Bartók authority. While his days were spent in academia, Lloyd spent nights getting educated on the job in L.A.'s jazz clubs, playing with Ornette Coleman, Billy Higgins, Scott La Faro, Don Cherry, Charlie Haden, Eric Dolphy, Bobby Hutcherson and other leading west coast jazz artists. He also was a member of the Gerald Wilson big band.
In 1960 Lloyd was invited to become music director of Chico Hamilton's group when Dolphy left to join Charles Mingus's band. The Hungarian guitarist Gabor Szabo and bassist Albert "Sparky" Stinson soon joined Lloyd in the band. Hamilton's most memorable albums for Impulse Records, Passin’ Thru and Man from Two Worlds, featured music arranged and written almost entirely by Lloyd, and during this period of prolific composing he was also finding his unique voice as a saxophonist. A memorable collaboration took place between Lloyd and the Nigerian master drummer Babatunde Olatunji, with whom the saxophonist played when he wasn't on the road with Hamilton.
Lloyd joined the Cannonball Adderley Sextet in 1964, and performed alongside Nat Adderley, Joe Zawinul, Sam Jones and Louis Hayes. He remained with Cannonball for two years, and to this day continues to acknowledge the important role Cannon played in his own development as a leader. In 1964 Lloyd signed with CBS Records and began to record as a leader. His Columbia recordings, Discovery, (1964) and Of Course, Of Course, (1965) featured sidemen including Roy Haynes and Tony Williams on drums, Richard Davis and Ron Carter on bass, Gabor Szabo on guitar and Don Friedman on piano, and led to his being voted Downbeat Magazine's "New Star.” Of Course, Of
Course was reissued on Mosaic Records in 2006.
Lloyd left Cannonball Adderley in 1965 to form his own quartet, a brilliant ensemble that introduced the jazz world to the talents of pianist Keith Jarrett, drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Cecil McBee. Their first release together was a studio recording, Dream Weaver, followed by Forest Flower: Live at Monterey, (1966). Forest Flower made history as one of the first jazz recordings to sell a million copies, and the album's firsts continued as it became a stunning crossover success that appealed to a popular mass market audiences and gained heavy airplay on FM radio. The Quartet was the first jazz group to appear at the famed Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco and other rock palaces and shared billing with Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Cream, the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane.
In 1967 Charles Lloyd was voted "Jazz Artist of the Year" by Down Beat, and the Quartet was invited to tour the world. The Charles Lloyd Quartet found a warm reception in Europe at the new jazz festivals in Montreux, Antibes, and Molde. Its performances in the Far East, the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc nations of Europe often marked the first time these audiences had heard an American jazz group live.
 At the height of his career in 1970, Lloyd disbanded the quartet and dropped from sight, withdrawing to pursue an inner journey in Big Sur, the wild haven that had previously attracted other artists and seekers including Robinson Jeffers, Langston Hughes, Henry Miller, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jack Kerouac, Jean Varda and Jamie DeAngulo. Despite recording several albums during the 1970s and occasionally appearing as a sideman with various rock groups, he practically disappeared from the jazz scene. During the 1970s Lloyd played extensively with The Beach Boys both on their studio recordings and as a member of their touring band. In the late 1970s Lloyd was a member of Celebration, a band composed of members of the Beach Boys' touring band as well as Mike Love and Al Jardine. Celebration released two albums. It wasn't until 1981 that Lloyd moved to break a decade of silence in the jazz world when a remarkable 18-year-old French pianist, Michel Petrucciani, arrived in Big Sur. Lloyd was compelled to help introduce this gifted artist to the world. This led to U.S., European and Japanese tours in 1982 and 1983 with Petrucciani on piano, Palle Danielsson on bass and drummer Son Ship Theus. British jazz critic Brian Case called Lloyd's return "one of the events of the 1980s.” The group produced a special edition cassette, Night Blooming Jasmine, and two live records, Montreux '82’and A Night in Copenhagen, which also features Bobby McFerrin (reissued by Blue Note Records). Satisfied that Petrucciani was beginning to receive the recognition he deserved, Lloyd again retreated to Big Sur. In 1986, after being hospitalized with a nearly fatal medical condition, Lloyd rededicated himself to music. When he regained his strength in 1988 he formed a new quartet with the renowned Swedish pianist Bobo Stenson. When Lloyd returned to the Montreux Festival in 1988, Swiss critic Yvan Ischer wrote: "To see and hear Charles Lloyd in concert is always an event, not only because this saxophonist has been at quite a few crossroads, but also because he seems to hold an impalpable truth which makes him a thoroughly original musician...This is what we call grace."
Lloyd made his first recording for ECM Records, “Fish Out of Water” in 1989. The project marked the beginning of a new wave of Lloyd compositions and recordings. ECM's producer, Manfred Eicher, compared the recording to a Giacometti painting, saying, "I really believe this is the refined essence of what music should be. All the meat is gone, only the bones remain." More than twenty years later, he is still with the label, and still in search of the “sound” and the truth. From 1989, Lloyd toured actively and recorded for the ECM label. Noteworthy albums include “Canto”, “Voice In the Night”, “The Water Is Wide”, featuring Brad Mehldau, John Abercrombie, Larry Grenadier and Billy Higgins, Lift Every Voice, (featuring Geri Allen), and the live “Rabo de Nube” with Jason Moran.
Charles Lloyd has shown great consistency and creativity in his period with ECM, much of his music containing a strong spiritual and world music element, as can be heard on the duo recording “Which Way Is East” with his longtime friend and musical soul mate, Billy Higgins. “Rabo de Nube”,  captured the New Quartet ( Jason Moran, Reuben Rogers, Eric Harland) “live” at its inception, and was voted #1 recording for the 2008 Jazz Times Reader’s and Critic’s Poll. “Mirror”, his second recording with the New Quartet, (2010) has already been called a “ Charles Lloyd classic.”
Lloyd established another “first” in his interesting history of jazz “firsts”, by collaborating with the classical Greek singer, Maria Farantouri for a concert at the Herodion Theater at the foot of the Acropolis. Ta Nea, the leading newspaper of Athens stated “Music has no borders…. The audience was filled with a Dionysian ecstasy. While the music had reminiscences of a Hypiros fair, at the same time it took you to the heart of New York City.” This concert was documented and the “ATHENS CONCERT” was released by ECM records in 2011.
Charles Lloyd maintains an active performance and recording schedule with the New Quartet, Sangam, Maria Farantouri and special projects around the world. He celebrated his 75th birthday with concerts in the Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum and the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.
In 2013 Lloyd was commissioned by Jazztopad in Wroclaw Poland to write a new composition to premiere at their festival. The “Wild Man Dance Suite” is a masterpiece composed for a quartet of piano, bass and drums and with the added instrumentation of Hungarian cimbalom and Greek lyra. The recording “Wild Man Dance” was released on Blue Note Records in April 2015. His second recording for Blue Note, “Charles Lloyd & the Marvels, I Long To See You,” is a new group with guitarist, Bill Frisell, Reuben Rogers, bass, Eric Harland, drums and Greg Leisz, on steel guitar. It also has Willie Nelson and Norah Jones as special guests on two tracks.

Charles Lloyd's recorded debut as a leader was made while he was a member of the Cannonball Adderley Sextet. Doubling on tenor and flute, Lloyd teamed up with pianist Don Friedman, either Eddie Khan or Richard Davis on bass, and Roy Haynes or J.C. Moses on drums. This out of print LP has among its highlights "Little Piece" (dedicated to Booker Little), "Days of Wine and Roses," "Sweet Georgia Bright," and the initial full-length version of "Forest Flower." Lloyd's Coltrane-inspired sound was already in place, and his flute playing was becoming distinctive. The music is essentially melodic but advanced hard bop, a strong start to an important career.

Frank Zappa - 2018 - The Roxy Performances

Frank Zappa
The Roxy Performances

12-9-73 Show 1
01. Sunday Show 1 Start 4:59
02. Cosmik Debris 11:33
03. “We’re Makin’ A Movie” 3:16
04. Pygmy Twylyte 9:08
05. The Idiot Bastard Son 2:19
06. Cheepnis 3:44
07. Hollywood Perverts 1:07
08. Penguin In Bondage 5:54
09. T’Mershi Duween 1:56
10. The Dog Breath Variations 1:44
11. Uncle Meat 2:29
12. RDNZL 5:14
13. Montana 7:49
14. Dupree’s Paradise 15:25

01. Dickie’s Such An Asshole 10:29
12-9-73 Show 2
02. Sunday Show 2 Start 4:08
03. Inca Roads 8:27
04. Village Of The Sun 4:19
05. Echidna’s Arf (Of You) 4:01
06. Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing? 13:22
07. Slime Intro :59
08. I’m The Slime 3:34
09. Big Swifty 9:01

01. Tango #1 Intro 3:50
02. Be-Bop Tango (Of The Old Jazzmen’s Church) 18:12
03. Medley:
King Kong
Chunga’s Revenge
Son Of Mr. Green Genes 9:46
12-10-73 Show 1
04. Monday Show 1 Start 5:31
05. Montana 6:57
06. Dupree’s Paradise 21:26
07. Cosmik Intro 1:05
08. Cosmik Debris 8:05

01. Bondage Intro 1:52
02. Penguin In Bondage 6:54
03. T’Mershi Duween 1:52
04. The Dog Breath Variations 1:48
05. Uncle Meat 2:29
06. RDNZL 4:59
07. Audience Participation - RDNZL 3:08
08. Pygmy Twylyte 4:05
09. The Idiot Bastard Son 2:21
10. Cheepnis 4:49
11. Dickie’s Such An Asshole 10:21
12-10-73 Show 2
12. Monday Show 2 Start 5:13
13. Penguin In Bondage 6:33
14. T’Mershi Duween 1:52
15. The Dog Breath Variations 1:46
16. Uncle Meat 2:28
17. RDNZL 5:11

01. Village Of The Sun 4:05
02. Echidna’s Arf (Of You) 3:54
03. Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing? 6:56
04. Cheepnis - Percussion 4:08
05. “I Love Monster Movies” 2:10
06. Cheepnis 3:35
07. “Turn The Light Off”/Pamela’s Intro 3:59
08. Pygmy Twylyte 7:23
09. The Idiot Bastard Son 2:22
10. Tango #2 Intro 2:01
11. Be-Bop Tango (Of The Old Jazzmen’s Church) 22:08

01. Dickie’s Such An Asshole 15:39
Bonus Section: 12-10-73 Roxy Rehearsal
02. Big Swifty - In Rehearsal 2:50
03. Village Of The Sun 3:13
04. Farther O’Blivion - In Rehearsal 5:34
05. Pygmy Twylyte 6:17
Unreleased Track
06. That Arrogant Dick Nixon 2:19
12-12-73 Bolic Studios Recording Session
07. Kung Fu - In Session 4:50
08. Kung Fu - with guitar overdub 1:17
09. Tuning and Studio Chatter 3:38
10. Echidna’s Arf (Of You) - In Session 1:22
11. Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow - In Session 9:49
12. Nanook Rubs It - In Session 5:41
13. St. Alfonzo’s Pancake Breakfast - In Session 2:46
14. Father O’Blivion - In Session 2:31
15. Rollo (Be-Bop Version) 2:36

12-8-73 Sound Check/Film Shoot
01. Saturday Show Start 2:20
02. Pygmy Twylyte/Dummy Up 20:25
03. Pygmy Twylyte - Part II 14:25
04. Echidna’s Arf (Of You) 3:42
05. Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing? 6:01
06. Orgy, Orgy 3:39
07. Penguin In Bondage 6:30
08. T’Mershi Duween 1:53
09. The Dog Breath Variations 1:45
10. Uncle Meat/Show End 4:01

Bass – Tom Fowler
Drums – Chester Thompson, Ralph Humphrey
Keyboards, Synthesizer, Vocals – George Duke
Lead Guitar, Vocals, Producer – Frank Zappa
Percussion – Ruth Underwood
Rhythm Guitar, Vocals – Jeff Simmons
Synthesizer – Don Preston
Tenor Saxophone, Flute, Lead Vocals – Napoleon Murphy Brock
Trombone – Bruce Fowler
Trumpet – Walt Fowler

The Roxy concerts were previously featured on the 1974 live album Roxy & Elsewhere as well as the posthumous releases Roxy by Proxy and Roxy the Movie. However, the seven-CD The Roxy Performances marks the first time Zappa and the Mothers' Roxy residency has been released in its entirety.

"This is one of my favorite FZ line-ups ever. This box contains some of the best nights of music Los Angeles has ever seen with their ears at an historic venue," Ahmet Zappa said in a statement. "Hold on to your hotdogs people. This box is the be-all-end-all. This is it. This is all of it. It's time to get your rocks off for the Roxy."

In addition to the four performances spread over December 9th and 10th, 1973, the box set also features recordings from a December 8th film shoot and soundcheck from the venue, as well as material laid down on December 12th at nearby Bolic Studios, where Zappa and company worked on songs that would appear on 1974's Apostrophe.

Give it a quick listen on Spotify and if you like it go buy it at