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This review is from: Forest Flower: At Monterey (Audio CD)
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.