Charles Lloyd has long been a free spirit, master musician, and visionary. For more than six decades the legendary saxophonist and composer has loomed large over the music world, and at 84 years old he remains both at the height of his powers and as prolific as ever. Early on Lloyd saw how placing the improvised solo in interesting and original contexts could provoke greater freedom of expression and inspire creativity.
As a sound seeker, Lloyd’s restless creativity has perhaps found no greater manifestation than on his latest masterwork, an expansive project that encompasses three individual albums each presenting him in a different trio setting—a Trio of Trios. The first, Trios: Chapel, features Lloyd with guitarist Bill Frisell and bassist Thomas Morgan. The second, Trios: Ocean, with guitarist Anthony Wilson and pianist Gerald Clayton. The third, Trios: Sacred Thread, with guitarist Julian Lage and percussionist Zakir Hussain.
Reflecting on his playing throughout the trio trilogy, Lloyd provides this insight: “You get into the space of nowness, it’s very intoxicating, you want more of it, and you want to find it. In that search for the sound, our individuality merges with the universality and somehow we get met. That nowness is so powerful, it makes the world, as we know it, kind of pale, it’s not so easy to come back to the relative when you’ve been in the absolute.”