First off, the members of Charles Lloyd's latest, incomparable quartet: pianist Jason Moran, drummer Eric Harland, bassist Reuben Rogers. It's a given that all three are brilliant, and extraordinary that Lloyd has brought them together. Each is among the leading contemporary players on his instrument, and, like Lloyd, each maintains a critical sense of jazz history while moving the music in fresh, innovative directions. Moran, especially, in recent years has emerged as a bandleader and musician of extraordinary vision. Then there's the incomparable Lloyd, a saxophonist and flautist whose long career has helped shape jazz's post-bop landscape, as an experimenter with free jazz, jazz-rock fusion (making him a Fillmore-level star in the psychedelic rock era), and world music. This quartet's first album was last year's Rabo de Nube, recorded live in Switzerland, the title taken from a lovely ballad by Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodríguez. The other compositions are all Lloyd's, ranging from the exotic, Eastern-sounding "Ramanujan" (on which Lloyd plays tárogató, a Hungarian woodwind) and soulful tribute to the late jazz trumpeter and Lloyd's childhood friend Booker Little ("Booker's Garden") to the episodically ferocious "Prometheus" and a sizzling new version of the 45-year-old "Sweet Georgia Bright."
Thu., July 2, 7 & 9:30 p.m., 2009