Charles Lloyd – Lift Every Voice
(ECM – 2003)
by Paula Edelstein
From his mind has come some of the best jazz of all time, including Forest Flower, the first jazz album to ever sell a million copies, and his most recent two-CD disc titled Lift Every Voice. With his imagination at work, the saxophonist and flautist is breaking new ground with a stellar ensemble of Geri Allen on piano, John Abercrombie on guitar, Marc Johnson and Larry Grenadier on double bass and Billy Hart on drums. With his richly embellished paeans Hymn To The Mother, Amazing Grace, Go Down Moses, Lift Every Voice and Sing and Prayer, The Crossing Lloyd has created and elevated indelible musical images that speak to the listener in a way similar to witnessing mysteries of epic proportions.
These songs are peaceful, often sublime and always unforgettable. The bluesy rendition of East Virginia, West Memphis or the serene chops heard on What’s Going On? also deftly tell the tale of a musician’s moods during one of America’s most horrendous events. Despite it all, Charles Lloyd maintains a positive outlook on life and still holds hope for peace throughout the world.