Saxophonist/flautist Charles Lloyd has remained an innovative, even visionary force in contemporary jazz for half a century. Lloyd checks into the Dakota a few days shy of his 75th birthday leading his Sky Trio, featuring bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland, each an innovator in his own right, plus special guest Gerald Clayton, who at age 28 has already established himself as a significant pianist and composer brimming with ideas. As well as experimenting with the avant-garde, Lloyd has always adeptly threaded his jazz with elements of gospel, blues, pop, and world music. His just-released collaboration with pianist Jason Moran, Hagar's Song, covers Brian Wilson's "God Only Knows" and Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released." Both are extraordinarily intimate, but gently unveil vast reservoirs of emotion, Moran's gospel-based piano tethering Lloyd's floating, yearning saxophone. But the core of the album is the five-part "Hagar's Suite," a soulful, haunting, deeply moving tribute to Lloyd's great-great-grandmother, who endured a life of slavery.
Sun., March 10, 7 p.m., 2013