Manhattan Stories

Charles Lloyd
(Resonance Records)

Previously unreleased 1965 concerts by Charles Lloyd capture his energy and distinct tone, stretching out with Gábor Szabó, Ron Carter and Pete La Roca, not long before his “classic” quartet (Keith Jarrett, Cecil McBee and Jack DeJohnette) stormed the world. “Sweet Georgia Bright” opens at 90 mph, Lloyd’s tenor and Szabó’s stinging guitar playing cat and mouse. “How Can I Tell You” shows Lloyd’s original balladry; “Lady Gábor” presents his flute, dropping to a whisper near the end. The second concert opens with an impromptu “Slugs’ Blues,” for the club where it was recorded, followed by a different version of “Lady Gábor.” Lloyd’s signature “Dream Weaver” could almost be called jazz rock, with Szabó presaging Larry Coryell and Jimi Hendrix. In an era perhaps dominated by Coltrane, Lloyd’s saxophone voice was unique. This is superb, innovative jazz, reaching out from a half century ago with fresh brilliance.