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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I heard CL in January here in Buffalo, and it was really stunning. I wanted to write a tune that tried to grab some of the vibe of what I heard that night...

There's a new performance space here, and we finished our gig there this past Thursday with the "world premiere" of this tune, as a sort of really "chill" ending to a night of some pretty out stuff.

It's nothing profound, but I do think it reflects on what I heard in January -- here's the tune: Charles.
 

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Really liked this. Definitely has a CL feeling especially your use of his style of attack. I also got to see him here in New Zealand when he toured. Hadn't seen him before but have been listening to his work since the late sixties. Funny how he now sounds just the same as then. Interesting style how he adds intensity instead of volume, or even drops volume to give intensity. Very cool. He had a great line up with him, especially his drummer.

Thanks for writing, playing and posting. Very lovely work that evokes how his music communicates and feels.
 

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I saw CL and JM performing as a duo this summer. So much communicated in one held note, caressing the tone and exploring every nuance of the horn's sonority — really nice job Kelly, I'd say you caught the essence of his playing.
 

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Kelly - beautiful piece. Definitely caught the right vibe.

Charles is one of those guys I wish I'd checked out a lot sooner, as he immediately seemed to be a missing link between some of the earlier players like Trane, Shorter, Ornette, and the "newer school" of guys like Grossman, Liebman, Brecker, etc. Not to mention the important contributions of great sidemen like Jarrett, DeJohnette, McBee to a whole approach his groups took.

Your tune seemed to capture some of the freshness, adventure, and melodicism of their playing.

Shawn
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Interesting style how he adds intensity instead of volume, or even drops volume to give intensity.
That's exactly right, and I've been thinking about that approach a lot in the months since his gig here -- trying to remember that quiet and lyrical can still be INTENSE! Trying to take that on and get inside of that more and more...

Thanks for your comments, gents -- and cool to see other folks hip to Lloyd...
 

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Got to disagree with you Shawn. Charles Lloyd was pretty much his own man and has little/no Coltrane influence. If you can get your hands on any of his early 60s albums you will hear that he already had his "sound" together. At that time Coltrane was busy with technical mastery while Lloyd was exploring tone, different melodic ideas, world music etc. From the 1970s on, Lloyd was barely seen or heard for decades, but is now back and busier than ever. It's an odd time warp: what you hear now is almost the same as what he was playing nearly fifty years ago. Sounds good though doesn't it? That's how different and distinct he was compared to everyone else then as well.
 

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I would say there is a lot of Trane in Charles' playing, especially early on. A prime example is the 1962 Chico Hamilton record called "Drum Fusion." Charles wrote all the tunes on the record and both his writing and playing seems to be coming from the sounds Coltrane explored on Africa/Brass in 1961 as well as earlier modal things. At 24 Charles already had his own thing going on, but he is definitely working from the advances Coltrane (and others) made. Check out the tunes One For Joan and Homeward for a taste of what I mean. Charles later recorded One For Joan in 1965 on his own record Of Course, Of Course. It's really interesting to here how his approach to the horn and improvisation developed between in the three years between the two recordings.

I've uploaded One For Joan from Drum Fusion here: http://owensummers.posterous.com/one-for-joan Unfortunately, I don't have an mp3 of the version from Of Course, Of Course.
 

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Interesting opinion from odsum25. I can't for the life of me hear it, and after a fairly exhaustive search of Charles Lloyd's bios, looking for influences, opinions, etc. couldn't find mention one of anyone else who thinks Charles Lloyd has any similarity to Coltrane. They all have the same early influences so those show up but are hardly attributable to Coltrane. I think you're on your own on this one. If you'd said Cannonball, then, although I don't think them very similar, would have to agree that Lloyd is more melodic like Cannonball and certainly had lots of opportunity having worked with Cannonball for a few years. Got to admit though that the example you gave sounded more like Coltrane than the way Lloyd was playing shortly after, and the way he has played ever since. A short phase? Certainly not a very discernable influence now. Do Coltrane influence spotters have some relation to Elvis spotters?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Actually, Wade, Lloyd was heavily influenced by Trane, especially early in his career -- in fact, the early rap about CL was that he was just "doing" Trane. Philly Joe Jones, interviewed in Arthur Taylor's Note & Tones, says that Lloyd was playing Coltrane "note for note."

Dave Liebman, who studied with Lloyd, said that CL came out of the "old Coltrane tradition." Lewis Porter, in his Trane bio, lists Lloyd first as "[a]mong the many who developed a distinctive voice out of the Coltrane legacy."

I hear a lot of the lyrical side of Coltrane in Lloyd's tone, and over the years CL has refined that into very much his own thing. The thing is, Coltrane did so much, and covered so much territory, that a musician can focus on just a piece of that, and find their own place to go with it.

It's even said that the spiritual side of CL's stuff is directly tied to Coltrane's spiritual quest.
 

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OK. As said I could certainly hear Coltrane in the example given (he even played sharp like Coltrane!), but he certainly grew out of it. The major body of his work as an adult musician sounds to me nothing like Coltrane. As you say he developed his distinctive voice. That's what I relate to and what was so good to hear you tap into. Once again, greatly appreciated, and sorry for all of us getting off the track.
 

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I've uploaded One For Joan from Drum Fusion here:
Thanks for that - I haven't heard this tune for over forty years. It was pivotal in my musical development moving me away from chamber jazz and Brubeck and into the world of hard bop.
 

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I hear Lloyd's playing and music as multi-faceted with a lot of freedom, spirit, beauty. It seems to draw on a LOT of elements - collaborative playing as a group similar to Miles great quintet with Shorter etc. But maybe also Prez/Getz at times, and a pinch of 20th century music for good measure.

Interesting that a lot of guys in that era went for louder, brighter, agressive approaches. Lloyd's group went their own direction and connected with young listeners too......subtlety, nuance, beauty.

I think it's easy for listeners to have different interpretations of this type of music it's eclectic. Interesting that Miles had DeJohnette and Jarret in his band for a while......
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
OK. As said I could certainly hear Coltrane in the example given (he even played sharp like Coltrane!), but he certainly grew out of it. The major body of his work as an adult musician sounds to me nothing like Coltrane. As you say he developed his distinctive voice.
Check out Trane's upper-register playing on ballads if you'd like to find one precursor to CL's approach: Trane's tone had a purity and even a sort of vulnerability or fragility up there, almost vibrato-free and very exposed and quite different from what other tenor players were doing...

I'm sure you probably already know this, but a great example is "I Want To Talk About You" from Soultrane, one of my favorite Trane albums:


At least for me, I hear a lot of the above in CL's playing...

Once again, greatly appreciated, and sorry for all of us getting off the track.
No, that's cool -- thanks for listening!
 

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Good to read about Charles Lloyd. I know only one tune, "Forest Flower". This made a deep impression on me, way back. I haven't heard it for years...lost the album, but remember the wonderful feeling, joyous playing. Maybe it's on UT?
I also thought your song caught this essence. Thanks!
 
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