Say goodbye with The weeping woman, popularized by Chavela Vargas, in addition to being the only encore, it already put us in a situation before the intimate nature of Charles Lloyd, which is none other than his attachment to popular melodies, long before establishing himself as what he is today: the only legend of the tenor saxophone that is still active. It is also true that critics have always highlighted in his style the determination to leave technical perfection in the background, to “highlight the subtle world of emotions.”
Speaking of emotions, and not so subtle, seeing 83-year-old Charles Lloyd on stage leading a quartet was a warm return to the past when it was released in this format with Keith Jarrett on the floor, Cecil McBee on the double bass and Jack DeJohnette to the battery. It was the beginning of the way to conduct oneself, always surrounded by the best of each generation, as has happened again in his visit to the Jazz Voyeur Festival. In 1965, Jarrett, Cecil McBee and DeJonhette were only promises of a beautiful future and at their Son Amar concert on November 28, we were able to verify that their instinct to intuit the level of their companies remains intact.
The presence of Kendrich Scott to battery (41 years), replacing Eric Harland, It could be understood as going to a record label partner (Blue Note) where he was already walking quite loose, but in his past with a Berklee School scholarship he already treasured having accompanied Pat Metheny earning recognition as “the new Art Blakey”. On the other hand, the rest of the pieces of the quartet were future promises, one of them also a scholarship from the Berklee School in Boston. Both bright though Gerald Clayton At the piano it shone with its own light, in a sense reminding us at times of the chemistry that Lloyd was able to share, long ago, with Keith Jarrett. Suffice it to say that at 37 years of age he has developed a luxurious curriculum accompanying, among others, Diana Krall. Since 2013 he has been part of the Charles Lloyd Quartet.
Years earlier, in 2007, the 47-year-old double bass player Reuben Rogers (the other Berklee fellow) was part of the quartet, after accompanying other illustrious among them Wynton Marsalis. It is not at all free to choose these collaborations, those of Krall and Metheny, because we have had the privilege of enjoying them, she at the Palma Arena, he at the Mediterranean Nights of Costa Nord (Valldemossa), when he governed the cycle Michael Douglas.
But the most important thing is the fact of rescuing for our memories the passage of Charles Lloyd through a Mallorcan setting. He was the last legend to rescue, after seeing the impressive parade, during the ten years of the legendary Palma International Jazz Festival, from the rest of the active legends. I had the privilege of living those golden years in the forefront of my work and seeing Lloyd at work was in effect a return to the past.
The Son Amar concert in a way was the reissue of what was experienced in 2019, in the Californian Lobero Theatrer, where the album was recorded live Kindred Spirits, where we find The weeping woman and also Part 5 Ruminations, Requiem y Dream Weaver. The pandemic closed all the doors to fully experience musical culture, in such a way that Son Amar was in its own right the time to make amends and there was the saxophone and flute of Charles Lloyd, to remind us how it was in the past.
No choreography and much less poses; all authentic, including those awkward movements of Lloyd as he waited for his moment to resume his dreamy solos. Recovered for our memory, the presence of Keith Jarrett (1980) and DeJohnette (1988) in the Auditorium of Palma returned in the memories of yesterday. The legend came to us, recognized in life, when we received in 2015 the National Endowment for the Art Jazz Masters.
An interesting recent article published in The country, on the eve of Charles Lloyd’s concert in Son Amar, reminds us that indeed Lloyd is the last active legend of the tenor saxophone, since they maintain their retirement or at least diluted their profile Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp or Benny Golson.
“I check that you keep your memory oiled.” Not necessarily, Lou. The function of the critic, being a journalist, is to go to the document and, if possible – indeed – the memory. There is no use being a scholar if you don’t give ground to your treasured information and knowledge. Because It is essential that in the development of our work, we record what we have experienced in books and the five that I have publishedregardless of its quality, I want to think that they are going to keep alive the memory of a past as intense as the one lived in the last 40 years.