I have a wide selection of Lloyd's studio albums, mainly on ECM, but this was my first exposure to his sixties 'supergroup' featuring Jarrett and DeJohnette. Much more importantly however, the bulk of this double album is culled from two live concerts, at Monterey and New York. The excitement, sense of bubbling discovery, and above all the joyful swinging ensemble work, is both compelling and totally infectious. There are two versions of 'Forest Flower' here, separated by two years (66 & 68), both equally valid and worthwhile, though the sheer joyous discovery of the earlier performance is exhilirating. For me, the standout performances have to be Lloyd on sax and flute (a sad omission now), with a soaring, thrilling range, and Jarrett with some majestical flourishes, both orthodox and otherwise. The rhythm section play their part in grounding all of this so seamlessly. To hear the likes of 'Voice in the Night' and 'Sombrero Sam' live is tremendously exciting, and a vivid contrast with the more poised 'chamber jazz' effect of the studio recordings. An absolutely essential purchase, guaranteed to make you smile.
on 14 February 2004
Charles Lloyd's set at the Monterey festival summed up the end of the decade, full of love and joy and improvisation. The addition of Keith Jarrett's piano rendered it one of the best festival pieces of all time. The warmth of Lloyd's sax and the freedom of Jarrett's piano were an unsurpassed combination that brought to me, and many others, the spirit of the times. You didn't have to live on the "west coast" to know what was going on, you just had to pop it on your deck and drop the needle on the vinyl. Those days won't come again. Superb!
on 25 August 2013
This is among the best of Lloyd from the early days.
Beautiful and poetic jazz that can be recommended to anyone who are interested this kind of music.
As a bonus, one can also hear Keith Jarret on piano before he became a superstar.
Charles Lloyd is one of the few old guys that still have the energy for giving great concerts,
and he sometimes still plays Forest flower.