A new release by saxophonist Charles Lloyd is generally recognized as a significant event within modern jazz circles. And on this quartet-based outing, Lloyd once again imparts his indelible stamp of distinction, from both a technique and compositional standpoint. With pieces such as the opening track, "Ne Me Quitte Pas," Lloyd renders a sense of yearning along with pianist Geri Allen’s calming, chord voicings. In addition, the saxophonist injects one of his patented, soul-stirring type harmonies into this thirteen-minute work that proceeds like some sort of spiritually induced and gradually ascending mantra.
Regardless of tempo and pitch, the band moves forward with a blossoming effect, akin to the advent of spring. On "Jumping the Creek," the quartet engages in a loose groove and atmospheric bop-style vibe, where Ms. Allen uses space and depth as an accelerant to the overall flow, due to her delicate phrasings and forceful underpinnings. Whereas, "Georgia Bright Suite," is rooted upon a torrid swing vamp laid down by drummer Eric Harland and bassist Robert Hurst. With this piece, another interesting perspective comes to fruition via Lloyd’s fluent and whispery lines, counteracted by Allen’s cleverly devised harmonic intervals, performed within various registers. One component that often surfaces in Lloyd’s group led bands is his willingness to incite the respective musicians to become active participants. It’s a democratic affair for sure. Artistry in motion looms as a rather all-encompassing characteristic within Lloyd’s wide-ranging musical spectrum. His ability to seamlessly merge heady musical connotations with a highly envisioned sense of appeal, surfaces in multifarious colors throughout this superb offering. (Zealously recommended.... )