3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
intimate, restless and, at times, magical,
This review is from: Hagar's Song (Audio CD)
This is a recording of almost embarrassing intimacy at times. While discs such as "The Water Is Wide" and "Lift Every Voice" were confessional, plaintive, even restorative releases (in every sense of the word with "Lift Every Voice" constituting Lloyd's response to 9/11), this recording of Lloyd and Moran operating as a duo for the first time takes matters to a new level. Everything is imbued with an organic feel, from Lloyd's breathy tone on saxophones and flutes (the latter of which feature heavily in the 27 minute centrepiece which is "Hagar Suite", dedicated to Lloyd's great-grandmother, born into slavery).
However, running simultaneously with this intimacy of sound, is a restlessness of spirit, evident most obviously in "Pictogram", the only other Lloyd original apart from the afore-mentioned suite but also in the wonderfully-named "Dreams of White Buff" the disc's longest track and the second part of the suite. Moran's piano pulses, ebbs and flows, Jarrett-like, for one and half minutes before Lloyd enters in stately fashion on tenor sax, with perhaps his most beautiful performance of "Hagar's Song". The two musicians coax each other into an almost shrill exchange whereafter the music shifts from space and silence to ominous rumbles of sound with great ease and to equal effect.
Elsewhere, Lloyd and Moran provide distinctive interpretations of classics such as "Mood Indigo" and enrich, at least to my ears, "Bess, You Is My Woman Now" and the Bob Dylan number "I Shall Be Released" the originals of which I find too cloying and, in the latter case, sanctimonious. The fact that I have listened to "Hagar's Song" perhaps 20 times in the last 10 days is a testament to its quality, depth and variety of sound. Highly recommended indeed.