Monday, March 4, 2013

Lloyd/Moran Duo; Hiromi Explores Inner Voices - Bob Stewart

"Hagar's Song" -- the newest release from Charles Lloyd -- is an interactive duo recording with Jason Moran, the star pianist who has been a key member of Lloyd's latter-day quartet. The CD is a collection of intimacy and homage featuring pieces especially dear to Lloyd, ranging from compositions by Strayhorn, Ellington and Gershwin to those by Brian Wilson and Bob Dylan. The centerpiece of the disc is the title suite composed by Lloyd and dedicated to his great-great-grandmother, who was taken from her home in south Mississippi at age 10 and sold to another slave-owner in Tennessee. The disc comes in time to help mark the saxophonist's 75th birthday on March 15.

On her 2011 album, Hiromi sought to capture people's "inner voices" and strove to create what she called a "three-dimensional sound." For that release, the Japanese pianist and composer assembled a trio that included two veteran players-bassist Anthony Jackson and drummer Simon Phillips. While on the road, Hiromi started writing music for the follow-up, "Move" "Because I had been playing with Anthony and Simon for quite a bit, I just started to understand their characteristics, and I could find a hidden gem in their playing," she explains. "As a composer, I really wanted to write the songs especially for them, and I wanted to extract the unique beauty of their playing."

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