Charles Lloyd Quartet
Reviewed by Jay Trachtenberg, Fri., Oct. 29, 2010
Charles Lloyd QuartetMirror (ECM)
As the title of Charles Lloyd's 14th ECM release implies, Mirror largely reflects back. Revisiting a handful of tunes he's previously recorded for the label over the past two decades, the Golden State saxophonist and composer offers fresh interpretations of the title track, "Go Down Moses," "Desolation Sound," "The Water Is Wide," and "Lift Every Voice and Sing" with his new quartet featuring superstar Jason Moran on piano and astonishing drummer Eric Harland (both Houston natives) and bassist Reuben Rogers. Lloyd continues channeling the restless spirit of John Coltrane, but he also unabashedly re-creates the yearning sound of Trane's gentle side. A pair of Thelonious Monk ballads are exquisitely covered, but the biggest surprise comes from Lloyd's extrapolation of Brian Wilson's "Caroline, No." Two new originals from this ageless giant conclude a beautifully contemplative set that shines like a polished mirror.