Charles Lloyd: Sangam (ECM/Ode)

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Charles Lloyd: Tender Warriors
Charles Lloyd: Sangam (ECM/Ode)

The return of saxophonist Charles Lloyd to the frontline in the early 90s after almost two decades away has been one of the most enjoyable in jazz.  If you want to hear downright beautiful and emotionally engaging jazz albums which are seductive rather than confrontational then you can't go past the Lloyd albums of the past decade, especially Lift Every Voice.

But I won't lie to you, this new album Sangam is a live set with Zakir Hussain on tabla (Indian drums) and Eric Harland (percussion and piano), and it is a much more demanding proposition, perhaps best approached if jazz really is your thing.

For jazz aficionados then there's the shorthand: Lloyd here sounds more akin to the algebraic attack of Ornette Coleman in places, and there are substantial sections of tabla and percussion duets.

I think it is mostly exceptional and often exciting -- but I also know it won't be to everyone's taste. But it's pretty cool. Jazz folks, you'll know what to do.

And the rest of you? You can confidently sign up for the more accessible Lift Every Voice.

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