Rabo de Nube
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Nobody was hotter in the late ‘60s and ‘70s in jazz than Miles Davis and saxophonist Charles Lloyd. As headliners touring with the biggest rock bands, both artists enjoyed tremendous commercial success. Looking for life’s deeper meaning, Lloyd, at the height of popularity, left music and moved to Big Sur.
Lured out of retirement in 1989, all of Lloyd’s new releases, including this one, have been masterpieces. Rabo finds Lloyd playing in a fierier manner than usual in his post-retreat work. Recorded live with his quartet, featuring the amazing pianist Jason Moran, the band negotiates seven excellent compositions made more so by the interpretation each receives.
On “Prometheus,” for example, the group blazes through the melody with Lloyd continuing the opening pyrotechnics during his solo. “Migration” is a velvety kaleidoscope of non-metered discourse before drummer Eric Harland moves to an open swing feel to Lloyd’s obvious delight. Throughout the concert, the group’s spirit is so open to adventure and journey it’s hard to imagine that Lloyd is 70 years old.