1999 album. ECM.
‘Voice In The Night’ is to be released for the first time on Vinyl from the exceptional Charles Lloyd. The album originally released in 1998 - his sixth ECM album - was both a departure and a homecoming for the Memphis-born and California based tenor saxophonist, introducing new music and revisiting archive favourites - including the epic “Forest Flower”.
By the time of this record, he and drummer Billy Higgins had had a history stretching back to the mid-1950s. Bassist Dave Holland and guitarist John Abercrombie were mixed recruits—Holland having shared a festival stage or two with Lloyd, Abercrombie fresh on the boat. Abercrombie had been especially astonished by Lloyd’s depth and phrasing and the introduction of the former to the latter’s milieu was a masterstroke.
This album bears prime witness both to Lloyd’s songcraft and to the wonders it inspires in his band mates. His restless arpeggios are more than just that. Like emotional tics he can’t (and need never) shake, they constitute a grammar all their own, each a subtle unpacking. ‘Voice In The Night’ is also a melodic tour de force for Lloyd on which his is a clarifying presence that brings lucidity to the current with so much vision, it’s almost blinding. James Farber’s rounded engineering gives us the clearest sense possible of the importance of space in the tenorist’s songcraft. The result is lyrical music-making at its best. Classic to the bone.
With his “Scandinavian” band currently on hold, this is as close to an all- American unit as any band Lloyd has led since the 60s. (Dave Holland qualifies by now as an honorary American). ECM veteran John Abercrombie is in strong form throughout and the joyous beat of the great Billy Higgins keeps everything dancing, from the roots music of “Pocket Full Of Blues” to a sublime cover of Strayhorn’s “A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing”.
“Lloyd responds with some of his finest playing in years...He is aided enormously by his musical companions, an all-star ensemble if ever there was one... As musically appealing as it is commercially viable” - Don Heckman, L.A. Times
Band members: Charles Lloyd (tenor saxophone), John Abercrombie (guitar), Dave Holland (double bass), Billy Higgins (drums, percussion)
1. Voice In The Night
2. God Give Me Strength
3. Dorotea’s Studio
5. Pocket Full of Blues: Island Blues
6. Little Sister’s Dance
7. Shade Tree
8. Mud Island
2. Forest Flower: Sunrise/Sunset
3. A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing