Charles Lloyd Trios: Ocean review | John Fordham’s jazz album of the month

(Blue Note)
Devotion to jazz’s roots fill the latest album from the veteran saxophonist and flautist, which at times seems an almost private interchange

The saxophonist, flautist and early global-music pioneer Charles Lloyd has been entrancing audiences worldwide for more than 60 years, as well as travelling widely in his own fertile imagination to cultures way outside his jazz origins. But the west coast has felt like Lloyd’s spiritual home since he was a teenager in 1956 LA, studying Bartók by day and jamming with the then undiscovered Ornette Coleman at night, or playing and hanging out with the Beach Boys during his midlife 1970s-80s withdrawal from jazz. In 2018, three decades after his triumphant comeback, Lloyd chose a beloved Santa Barbara venue close to his California home to record his 80th birthday album: 8: Kindred Spirits (Live from the Lobero).

The theme continues with Ocean, this month’s second release in Blue Note’s Lloyd-led Trio of Trios series, this time featuring west coast guitarist Anthony Wilson, and young Lloyd-devoted pianist Gerald Clayton – son of the famous LA bandleader of the same name with whom a teenage Lloyd played in the 1950s.

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