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Format: Audio CD|Change
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 November 2010
This album is culled from the same sessions which produced the impeccable 'The Water is Wide', and Billy Higgins, the drummer on both, was dead before the release of this one. Originally it was to have been dedicated to his mother, Ann Higgins, but as Lloyd says in his foreword "before this booklet was printed Master Higgins left town." Perhaps with the benefit of hindsight, Higgins contribution, especially on 'Secret Life of the Hidden City', and 'Darkness on the Delta Suite', two of the major tracks on this album, seems especially noteworthy, with a melodic propulsion and lightness of touch throughout.
However, Lloyd's bands have never been about grandstanding, but about the ensemble, and this is equally true here. This album is a worthy partner of 'The Water is Wide', with some exquisite solo and duet work which have a clarity and luminous quality which is mesmerising. Mehldau's piano runs have a lively audacity, Abercrombie's guitar often has a crystalline sparkle, while Grenadier's bass work recalls the singing quality of Danny Thompson. Difficult to select outstanding tracks amongst all this quality, but 'Dancing Waters' is a limpidly melodic opener, 'Hyperion with Higgins' has an immediately arresting structure, opening with a duet between sax and drums, while the 'Caravan Moves On' is a suitably concluding, life-affirming delight. Above all this hangs the arcing, singing tone of Lloyd's sax, or the oboe-like call of his taragato. This is a very fine album, and a fitting tribute to a master drummer.
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