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Published: 2010/10/18
by Ron Hart

Charles Lloyd Quartet
Mirror

ECM

It has been said that Charles Lloyd’s newest quartet, comprised of young jazz lions Eric Harland on drums, Rueben Rogers on double bass and white hot Blue Note piano maverick Jason Moran, may very well be the finest of all the groups the 72-year-old tenor sax giant has led in the course of his six-decade long career. Following the critical frenzy of this ensemble’s recorded debut, the essential 2008 live album Rabo de Nube, the foursome test their merits in the studio with Mirror.

This luminous 12-track collection of reworked favorites from the Lloyd universe includes four classic original compositions and several choice covers the Memphis-born jazz great has since made his own through the years, highlighted by a soaring new rendition of the traditional “The Water is Wide,” a beautiful take on Thelonious Monk’s “Ruby My Dear” and a tender tip of the hat to his time as a sideman for The Beach Boys in the 1970s with a stirring reading of the classic Pet Sounds ballad “Caroline No.” Mirror is the kind of late-career revelation that only the elite cream of the jazz family tree have come to enjoy. May Charles Lloyd’s golden years continue to reap such a brilliant harvest of creativity and expression.

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