Charles Lloyd - Manhattan Stories (2014/2017) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD128/5.64MHz
Artist: Charles Lloyd
Title: Manhattan Stories
Genre: Jazz, Hard Bop, Post Bop, Avant-Garde Jazz, Saxophone Jazz
Label: © 2xHD/Resonance Records
Release Date: 2014/2017
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD128/5.64MHz
Recorded live at Judson Hall, NYC, September 3, 1965
Charles Lloyd’s status as one of the iconic figures of jazz has been thoroughly established for nearly five decades. His recordings from the ‘60s – especially releases such as Of Course, Of Course, Dream Weaver and Forest Flower – introduced a stunning, new jazz saxophone talent at a time when new ideas were rapidly being triggered by the likes of John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, and Eric Dolphy. But Lloyd had a voice of his own, one that blended rich, contemplative improvising with an irresistible flow of dynamic rhythms. No wonder Down Beat selected Lloyd as Jazz Artist of the Year in 1967.
This live 1965 recording from New York’s Judson Hall features Lloyd with his previously unreleased quartet of Gábor Szabó, Ron Carter, & Pete La Roca.
For the 2xHD transfer of this recording the original 1/4", 15 IPS NAB master tape was played on a Nagra-T modified with high-end tube playback electronics, wired with OCC silver cable from the playback head direct to a Telefunken EF806 tube. The Nagra-T has one of the best transports ever made, having four direct drive motors, two pinch rollers and a tape tension head.
2xHD did an analog transfer to DSD256 (11.2nHz) using Merging Horus/Hapi A/D converter and a dCS Vivaldi clocl. Each format (96kHz, 192kHz, DSD2.8mHz, DSD5.6mHz and DSD11.2mHz) was created from that transfer.
Manhattan Stories is a trip back in time, a journey to a long gone and long-missed era. It's a window into the great Charles Lloyd's art at a period of transition. The shows presented on this beautifully packaged two-disc set—one recorded at the infamous Slugs' Saloon in the summer of 1965, the other recorded at Judson Hall in September of the same year—took place shortly after Lloyd left the employ of Julian "Cannonball" Adderley and before he became a cross-over sensation and hero to hippies, moving a million units of Forest Flower: Charles Lloyd At Monterey (Atlantic, 1966).
In terms of chronology and discography, these shows line up best with Of Course, Of Course (Columbia, 1965), an album that was recorded across multiple sessions in 1964 and 1965. Said album, in its original state, featured Lloyd alongside bassist Ron Carter, guitarist Gabor Szabo, and drummer Tony Williams; when Mosaic Records reissued the album in 2006 as part of its Mosaic Singles line, bonus tracks from October of 1965 were added, with bassist Albert Stinson and drummer Pete La Roca replacing the Carter-Williams combination on two tracks—"Island Blues" and "Sun Dance"—and guitarist Robbie Robertson making an appearance on the latter number. Here, on both sets, it's Lloyd, Szabo, Carter and La Roca—the Charles Lloyd Quartet of the time—making magic.
The Judson Hall show, one part of the 1965 edition of Charlotte Moorman's New York Festival of the Avant-Garde, is Lloyd at his finest. He plays like a man possessed during a lengthy "Sweet Georgia Bright," a number which features some awe-inspiring exchanges and overlaps between his saxophone and Szabo's brittle-toned guitar. "How Can I Tell You" is a tender musical expression with memorable solo work, but it doesn't play out as expected. When La Roca's drums are in full bloom they push against the dreamy nature of the piece. The quartet finishes off with Szabo's "Lady Gabor," a mystery-laced number. The show only lasts a bit longer than forty minutes, but these men make every second count. And while it would be decades before Lloyd would take on the mantle of musical spirit guide on his ECM releases, traces of that artist-to-be can be found here, both during his saxophone cadenza toward the end of "How Can I Tell" and through his flute wanderings on "Lady Gabor."
The set from Slugs' Saloon starts out as a snapshot of a noisy room, but the music quickly reorients the ears. The program starts out with "Slugs' Blues," a loping number with a slightly Monk-ish quality that heats up as it moves on. "Lady Gabor" comes next, coming across as a more intriguing alternative to the version from Judson Hall. Szabo's trance-inducing guitar work steals the show, La Roca is nimble and deft, and Carter provides ballast throughout; his bass is heard and felt here. The final number from this performance is a "Dream Weaver" that flows and grooves.
The sound quality police—yes, those persnickety people who split hairs and then split them again—will probably quibble over trivial things on this one, but the sound quality is actually remarkably good considering the circumstances of these recordings. No matter how you slice it, this is significant music that needs to be heard in order to fully appreciate the full scope of an important artist's work. This is musical manna, not from heaven, but from the horn(s) of Charles Lloyd. --Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz
1. Sweet Georgia Bright 17:50
2. How Can I Tell You 11:53
3. Lady Gabor 12:45
Charles Lloyd, tenor saxophone, flute
Gábor Szabó, guitar
Ron Carter, bass
Pete La Roca, drums
Would you like to leave your comment? Please Login to your account to leave comments. Don't have an account? You can create a free account now.