Colossus Saxophone by Charles Lloyd Quartet (Dakota Jazz Club) – Twin Cities Arts Reader

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Clockwise from upper left corner: saxophonist Charles Lloyd, pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Harish Raghavan and drummer Eric Harland. The quartet includes the Charles Lloyd Quartet, which returns to the Dakota Jazz Club tonight for the second half of a set of 4 shows. Original photos by Dr Darr and Devin DeHaven.

Charles Lloyd – the 83-year-old NEA Jazz Master – brought a quartet of stars to a crowded Dakota Jazz Club last night for the first of four shows. (Their last two shows are tonight at 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.) The performance that was originally scheduled two years ago; It was worth the wait.

Lloyd lives the history of music. As well as playing with and learning from some of the biggest names in jazz – Ornette Coleman, Charlie Haden, Bobby Hutcherson, Cannonball Adderley, Nat Adderley, Joe Zawinul, Roy Haynes, Ron Carter, Miles Davis, Bobby McFerrin and many more ‘others – he has also accompanied personalities across the musical spectrum, including Howlin’ Wolf, BB King, Keith Jarrett, The Doors, The Byrds, The Grateful Dead, The Beach Boys, Willie Nelson, Norah Jones and Lucinda Williams.

For the current tour, Lloyd’s quartet has an impressive lineup, with Gerald Clayton on piano, Harish Raghavan on bass and Eric Harland on percussion. Clayton (son of bassist and composer John Clayton) has four Grammy nominations and has been recording and touring with Lloyd since 2013. Harland, also nominated for multiple Grammy Awards, was part of the group on Lloyd’s 2021 album. Poem of your. Raghavan, a semi-finalist of the Thelonious Monk competition, recently had his debut album as a frontman with Calls to action (Swirling recordings).

Saxophonist Charles Lloyd was declared a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2015. Photo by Dr Darr.

Sometimes Clayton set a calm melodic backdrop on which Lloyd offered a stimulating musical narrative: part Coleman, part Theolonious Monk. At other times, bass, drums, and piano combined to create a terrain of conflict and controlled chaos, above which Lloyd’s saxophone (or, on one piece, the flute) provided resolution. satisfactory. It was a masterclass of group interaction and improvisation.

When Lloyd plays the saxophone, he often seems to be physically struggling with the notes of the instrument – bouncing or bending with his instrument to get just the right note (this is how he always played – this is also evident from ‘a recording from 1966 as in a wonderful rendition of “Requiem” last year). Performing until his 80s, Lloyd told Jazzwise magazine in 2020: “Today I bring everything I have ever played, but I try to maintain” the spirit of a beginner “. I have both the benefit of the experience and the desire for new discoveries. You cannot bring everything you know all at once, that is the mistake of youth. I do not. not deny young Charles, but as my character becomes whole, the music improves.

Last night, Lloyd and his supporting roles were all business: going from song to song, not saying a word to the audience until the very end. Before wrapping up the set, Lloyd noted his close bond with Dakota owner Lowell Pickett, and how, although he (Lloyd) doesn’t usually play clubs anymore, he “still likes being around people.”

I highly recommend being near this Jazz Master tonight, before he and the magnificent quartet leave town.

pianist Gerald Clayton with saxophonist Charles Lloyd; the couple have been touring since 2013. Photo by Dr Darr.

The Charles Lloyd Quartet performs again tonight at 7 and 9 p.m. at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis, MN.

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