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Oct 2, 2014







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Charles Lloyd, Manhattan Stories (Resonance Records)
CD Reviews: October 2, 2014

10/02/14



 The backstory of this two-disk set, wherein the Memphis-born avant-jazz sax/flute-player leads up the previously unreleased combo that included guitarist Gábor Szabó, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Pete La Roca, is as interesting as its meandering, self-exploring music. I’m shy to admit the 6-year-old Resonance imprint is news to me, a label skippered by George Klabin, who was 19 in 1965, when he himself professionally taped the 40-odd-minute-long Judson Hall set on display here. Both Judson Hall and the more intimate Slug’s (featured on the second, more relaxed-sounding disk) are long defunct, but the fidelity here is razor sharp in capturing Szabó before he’d hit it big, in the same year Lloyd himself shot to million-seller success with the group that co-starred Keith Jarrett. The interplay here between sax-mode Lloyd and Szabó is of course very different from the Lloyd/Jarrett thing; they spill over each other gleefully, ambivalent to the dissonance (there’s a lot of that; it was ’65 mind you), particularly in the garbled “Slug’s Blues.” Two versions of “Lady Gabor” here, if that matters to you, clocking in at 24 minutes altogether, the centerpiece vibe involving Lloyd’s flute making hummingbird patterns over Carter’s workaday bass. AEric W. Saeger






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