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September 29 , 2010

Charles Lloyd: The Mirror Tour

Charles Lloyd’s quartet, hailed by an increasing number of critics as the venerable saxophonist’s very best ensemble, is currently on tour supporting the new album “Mirror”. “This is a band for the ages”, writes Ray Comiskey in the Irish Times. “The pervasive impression is of the profound serenity of Lloyds gorgeous tenor and rare alto, secure in the unity of one of the greatest bands of his long career. With them he finds lyrical and communal poetry, filled with a personal, recondite sense of spirituality, in beautiful explorations of old favourites.”

In Germany’s Der Spiegel, Sarah Seidel writes that “it is heart-rending when Lloyd plays ballads [on Mirror], so beautiful that it hurts.” In the Boston Globe, Steve Greenlee notes that “Restraint can be more powerful than flexed muscles. This has long been then credo of saxophonist Charles Lloyd. At 72, he’s mellower than ever, yet his music manages to reach deeper.”

Forthcoming Lloyd Quartet dates include Minneapolis, Dakota Jazz Club (September 30), Quebec City Jazz Festival (October 2), Teatro Central, Seville, Spain (November 13), Granada, Spain, (November 14), Barcelona Auditori (November 16), London Barbican Jazz Festival (November 17), Guimares Jazz Festival, Portugal (November 18), Padova Jazz Festival, Italy (November 20), Munich Muffathalle (November 23), Auditorium, Perugia University (November 25), Wroclaw Jazz Festival, Poland (November 27), Kulturtage Oldenburg (November 28), Fliegende Bauten, Hamburg (November 30), Konzerthaus Vienna (December 2). A further round of concerts in January includes the Hopkins Center in Hannover, New Hampshire (January 20) and the Regatta Bar, Cambridge, Massachusetts (January 21 and 22), Flynn Center, Burlington (January 23), University of Massachusetts, Amherst (January 26), Weslyan, Middletown, (January 28), New York Rose Hall (January 29), Albright Knox Gallery, Buffalo (January 30).

The line-up is the same as on the prize-winning “Rabo de Nube”, the disc which won both the critics and readers polls of Jazz Times: Lloyd on saxophones, Jason Moran on piano, Reuben Rogers on bass and Eric Harland on drums. (Apropos prizes, pianist Moran has just been announced as a winner of a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant, one of the most coveted of all US awards. Details here.

Planned for 2011 is a new live album, recently recorded by Manfred Eicher in Greece, featuring the Lloyd/Moran/Rogers/Harland quartet together with legendary singer Maria Farantouri.