I Long to See You w/ The Marvels
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Charles Lloyd’s second album for Blue Note features the ascetically passionate sax star and his rhythm section hosting Bill Frisell and his pedal-steel partner Greg Leisz on a programme of folk songs, three Lloyd originals, and guest appearances by Norah Jones and Willie Nelson. Explicit jazz is rare (though the whimsically playful flute/guitar theme of Lloyd’s Ornette-like Of Course of Course is a highlight), but quiet instrumental conversations like the Frisell favourite Shenandoah, a lovely All My Trials and a succinct Abide With Me are spellbinding in their awestruck sax exhortations and gleaming guitar harmonies. Dylan’s Masters of War is a little on-the-nose as a Coltranesque lament, but while Nelson delivers the anti-war song Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream in a candid tremor and Norah Jones sings You Are So Beautiful in a note-bending trance, it’s the long, closing meditation Barche Lamsel that captures the core group at its most reciprocally poetic. Lloyd and Frisell sound like lifelong soulmates
Santa Barbara, California, April 17 & 28, 2015