"...especially Lloyd captivates with emotional play, but without reaching his present spiritual dimension..."Jazzpodium 07 08 2020, 06-7-2020
With Charles, it all started with an autograph…
As we all know, one small moment in a life can have incalculable and unexpected effects... June 18, 1967, thanks to parents who adored Jazz and who certainly would not have missed the arrival of a new festival at their doorstep, I found myself with festival program in hand, prodded along by my father, going up sheepishly and asking for an autograph from this tall and very impressive man by the name of Charles Lloyd. I still remember his reaction: first surprised, then charming, warm, attentive, and... concerned. He took his time and said lots of very nice things to me that although I didn’t understand in words, I did with my heart! That day I told myself that Jazz was a very fine music indeed if you met people so vibrant and... cool!
Over the decades, not only has Jazz taken a primordial place in my life, but various encounters along with contacts developed over the decades would have it that almost magically, the different actors of that first edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival have become key people in my life: they are Pierre Grandjean, producer and soundman with Radio Suisse Romande at the time (and my predecessor at my post of Jazz Producer); René Langel, saxophonist (well, well!), journalist and co-founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival alongside Claude Nobs and Géo Voumard; and... Charles Lloyd, musician and bosom buddy with whom I’ve gotten together more often than one could hope for during more than fifty years of concerts, reunions and memorable feasts!
The scene was set, and it is due to this original "friendship connection" that Dorothy and Charles Lloyd asked me to organize a virtual gathering on behalf of these three "mates" from ’67. After long negotiations, the result is the publication of this concert, both historic and influential (for many)! Pierre and René were, as always, faithful to the call of friendship and each are here with their recollections of this unique moment. Because it was truly that, an exceptional musical moment. The saxophonist’s quartet, after flamboyant successes in 1966 including the Fillmore in San Francisco (where they were the first Jazz group ever invited), Antibes, and Monterey, where the acclaimed Forest Flower was recorded live (appearing on Atlantic, just like Dream Weaver and Love-In), arrived in Montreux enveloped by an image as intriguing as it was exceptional. It must be said that Charles' group consisted of an alluring rhythmic section overflowing with creativity, since it was made up of three musicians beyond reproach, of which none had yet written their last page in the history of Jazz!
Pianist Keith Jarrett, bassist Ron McClure and drummer Jack DeJohnette dance around the dervish which is Charles Lloyd, augmenting the music of the quartet with all the liberties, all the daring and finally all the craziness that allow the leader to take flight to his improvisational territories of predilection. The music is carnal, expressive as hell itself and knows how to take its time through changing climates like so many steps mounting to a kind of grandiose ecstatic crescendo. And that which strikes one today, listening to this music aged more than five decades, is that it remains totally unwrinkled and that the freedom and freshness it exudes, while being an unmistakable announcement of the upcoming Free Jazz as well as different streams of "spiritual" music, never lose the listener but launches him on a breathtaking journey from which he returns transformed and... bettered! In addition, one also has the impression that the art of each of the four instrumentalists, who have not stopped evolving since then and have all been in their own rights acclaimed and recognized, already contains all the nuggets and qualities of their future productions and projects; without any of them having to be apologetic for the effects of time or the harsh law of changing styles with regard to this legendary Montreux performance.
This music remains as alive and eloquent as it was revealing for many at the time of its creation, and can now be made "public" for the second time - once and for all! Justice is also achieved for the four outstanding musicians, whom I wish to thank very sincerely for their trust.
So now it remains for listeners to discover or rediscover the music of the Charles Lloyd Quartet recorded at the very first Montreux Jazz Festival in 1967!... and they can celebrate, because this voyage is assuredly extraordinary!
Radio Producer & musician
Consultant Swiss Radio Days Jazz Series
Charles Lloyd - A Dreamer in Sound
In a career that spans five decades and includes collaborations with some of the most iconic figures in modern jazz, NEA and Grammy winner Jack DeJohnette (1942) has established an unchallenged reputation as one of the greatest drummers in the history of the genre. The list of creative associations throughout his career is lengthy and diverse: John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, Stan Getz, Keith Jarrett, Chet Baker, George Benson, Stanley Turrentine, Herbie Hancock, Dave Holland, Joe Henderson, Freddy Hubbard, Betty Carter and so many more. Along the way, he has developed a versatility that allows room for hard bop, R&B, world music, avant-garde, and just about every other style to emerge in the past half-century.
Born in Chicago in 1942, DeJohnette grew up in a family where music and music appreciation was a high priority. Beginning at age four, he studied classical piano privately and later at the Chicago Conservatory of Music. He added the drums to his repertoire when he joined his high school concert band at age 14.
“As a child, I listened to all kinds of music and I never put them into categories,” he recalls. “I had formal lessons on piano and listened to opera, country and western music, rhythm and blues, swing, jazz, whatever. To me, it was all music and all great. I‟ve kept that integrated feeling about music, all types of music, and just carried it with me. I‟ve maintained that belief and feeling in spite of the ongoing trend to try and compartmentalize people and music.”
By the mid-1960s, DeJohnette had entered the Chicago jazz scene – not just as a leader of his own fledgling groups but also as a sideman on both piano and drums. He experimented with rhythm, melody and harmony as part of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians during the group‟s early days, and later drummed alongside Rashied Ali in the John Coltrane Quintet. He garnered international recognition during his tenure with the Charles Lloyd Quartet, one of the first jazz groups to receive crossover attention.
In 1968, DeJohnette joined Miles Davis‟s group just prior to the recording of Bitches Brew, an album that triggered a seismic shift in jazz and permanently changed the direction of the music. Miles later wrote in his autobiography: “Jack DeJohnette gave me a deep groove that I just loved to play over.” DeJohnette stayed with Davis for three years, making important contributions to prominent Davis recordings like Live-Evil and A Tribute to Jack Johnson(both in 1971) and On the Corner (1972).
During this same period, DeJohnette also recorded his first albums as a leader, beginning with The DeJohnette Complex in 1968 on Milestone. He followed up with Have You Heard in 1970, then switched to Prestige, where he released Sorcery in 1974 and Cosmic Chicken in 1975.
The mid 1970s were marked by a series of short-lived groups and projects – many of them leaning toward the experimental side of jazz, including The Gateway Trio (featuring Dave Holland and John Abercrombie), Directions (with Abercrombie and saxophonist Alex Foster), and New Directions (Abercrombie, with Eddie Gomez on bass). Special Edition – which helped launch the careers of little known musicians like David Murray, Arthur Blythe, Chico Freeman, John Purcell and Rufus Reid – remained active into the 1990s, although the project was frequently interrupted by DeJohnette‟s various other collaborative ventures, especially recordings and tours with Keith Jarrett.
DeJohnette has worked extensively with Jarrett as part of a longstanding trio with Gary Peacock. The threesome will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2013.
Another of DeJohnette‟s high-profile projects in the early 1990s was a touring quartet consisting of himself, Holland, Herbie Hancock and Pat Metheny. In 1992, the group released Music for a Fifth World, an album inspired by Native American culture that also included appearances by Vernon Reid and John Scofield. Given the diversity of players and styles that he had embraced by this point, DeJohnette was already describing his music in the „90s as “multidimensional.”
In 2004, DeJohnette recorded and toured with two Grammy nominated projects – Out of Towners,
with Jarrett and Peacock (aka the Standards Trio); and Ivey Divey, which featured Don Byron and Jason Moran. He continued to work with Jarrett and Peacock in 2005, but also launched numerous additional ventures that same year, the first of which was the Latin Project – a combo that consisted of percussionists Giovanni Hidalgo and Luisito Quintero, reedman Don Byron, pianist Edsel Gomez, and bassist Jerome Harris. Other projects in 2005 included The Jack DeJohnette Quartet, featuring Danilo Perez, John Patitucci and Harris; and the Beyond Trio, a group that celebrated the music of drummer Tony Williams, featuring John Scofield and Larry Goldings.
And if that weren‟t enough to make for a busy year, 2005 also marked the launch of DeJohnette‟s own imprint, Golden Beams Productions. His first two projects on the new label were Music from the Hearts of the Masters, a duet recording with Gambian kora player Foday Musa Suso, and a relaxation and meditation album entitled Music in the Key of Om, featuring DeJohnette on synthesizer and resonating bells. The latter recording was nominated for a Grammy in the Best New Age Album category. He closed 2005 with the release of Hybrids, a seamless weave of African jazz, reggae and dance music that featured Foday Musa Suso and an international cast representing musical styles from around the world.
Two live recordings emerged in 2006: The Elephant Sleeps But Still Remembers (Golden Beams), which captured his first musical encounter with guitarist Bill Frisell at the Earshot Festival in Seattle in 2001; and Saudades (ECM), a 2004 London concert celebrating the music of Tony Williams. DeJohnette and Frisell reunited in the fall of 2006 – along with multi- instrumentalist Jerome Harris and mix master Ben Surman – for a tour to promote The Elephant Sleeps.
DeJohnette continued to explore African music in 2007 via the Intercontinental project, a partnership with South African singer Sibongile Khumalo that included a successful European tour and culminated in a
performance at the Capetown Jazz Festival in South Africa. Other projects in 2007 included studio gigs and tour dates with Bruce Hornsby, Christian McBride, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Ron Carter. DeJohnette also appeared on Michael Brecker‟s posthumously released final album,Pilgrimage.
Extensive touring continued in 2008, along with the recording of a trio album with Patitucci and Perez during a snow storm near DeJohnette‟s home in upstate New York. The sessions resulted in Music We Are, released in April 2009 with a bonus DVD that provided a rare look at the trio‟s friendship, their creative relationship and their approach to the recording process.
DeJohnette‟s Peace Time won a Grammy in 2009 for Best New Age Album. The album consists of an hour-long, continuous piece of music that eMusic described as “flights of flute, soft hand drumming, and the gently percolating chime of cymbal play, moving the piece along a river of meditative delight.” But the 2009 Grammy is just one many awards that DeJohnette has received over the years, beginning in 1979 with the French Grand Prix Disc and Charles Cros awards. He has figured prominently into readers polls and critics polls conducted by Downbeat andJazzTimes over the past two decades. He was awarded an honorary doctorate of music from Berklee College of Music in Boston in 1991, and was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society‟s Hall of Fame in 2010.
In 2011, he was chosen to perform at the Kennedy Center in tribute to his longtime friend and musical inspiration, Sonny Rollins. Marking his 70s birthday in 2012, he received a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Fellowship – the highest U.S. honor for jazz musicians – in recognition of his extraordinary life achievements, contributions to advancing the jazz art form, and for serving as a mentor for a new generation of aspiring young jazz
musicians. The year-long birthday celebration included performances at the Monterey and Newport Jazz festivals, a tour of Europe with The Jack DeJohnette Group (a quintet he formed in 2010) and several concerts with Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke.
Despite all the awards and accolades, though, DeJohnette continues to make the creative process his highest priority. To that end, his most recent recording is Sound Travels, a nine-song, genre-spanning album that includes Latin rhythms and West Indian energy, meditative pieces and straightahead jazz. Included in the long list of guest players is Esperanza Spalding, Bobby McFerrin, Bruce Hornsby and Jason Moran.
...especially Lloyd captivates with emotional play, but without reaching his present spiritual dimension...
Jazzpodium 07 08 2020, 06-7-2020
Saxophonist Charles Lloyd is a darn fine player.
ICON MAGAZINE, 03-1-2020
An very important piece of jazz history has been recorded on this (double) album, the unbelievable popularity of Charles Lloyd, not only in the jazz circles, but also in the rock world, a historic recording that you still can fully enjoy.
An extremely creative, intuitive and adventurous group that also broke through with the groundbreaking performance during the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1966 to the general public.
Historical recording of the first Festival de Jazz de Montreux.
Het Parool, 01-11-2019
Every track here is a winner and the absolute crème de la crème, appropriately, is the closer, a 27-minute version of the quartet's signature hit, Lloyd's "Forest Flower."
All About Jazz, 25-10-2019
It is superb. Montreux Jazz Festival 1967 is a near masterpiece. It captures Lloyd's quartet at its creative peak, still relishing playing together and still breaking new ground.
All about Jazz, 25-10-2019