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Bebop Spoken There

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

DVD Review: Arrows Into Infinity - Charles Lloyd

(Review by Lance).
A fascinating and compelling documentary about the iconic saxophonist and flautist Charles Lloyd. Now one of jazz's elder statesmen, Lloyd's 1966 album Forest Flower was, like A Kind of Blue, a work that found its way into the lives and record collections of listeners outside of the jazz world.
Arrows Into Infinity follows Lloyd, in his own words and through the words of associates past and present such as Herbie Hancock, Jack DeJohnette, Ornette Coleman (there's footage of them shooting pool together), Jason Moran, Eric Harland, Geri Allen and many more.

As well as the words there's a lot of archival music performances by Lloyd with Cannonball, Jarrett, Billy Higgins, Eric Harland, Michel Petrucciani, Geri Allen, Abercrombie, Moran and others.
Throughout, Lloyd comes across as a sensitive, gentle man - inspired initially by Lester Young - who, disillusioned by the trappings of success, walked away. Retreating to the mountain forests of Big Sur, noted jazz critic Stanley Crouch compared Lloyd's actions to that of film star Greta Garbo's departure from Hollywood in the 1930s.
With only the film's co-director Dorothy Darr (who became his wife and whose life has and had been interwoven with Lloyd's even before they met) for company he played his music midst the trees marvelling at the different sounds produced just by moving to a different part of the forest.
This is an emotional  portrayal of, not just a jazz musician, but of a warm and intelligent man and Darr and her co-producer Jeffrey Morse are to be congratulated on the end product.
If you're not a fan of Charles Lloyd before watching this film you certainly will be 113 minutes later!
The DVD: Charles Lloyd - Arrows Into Infinity is available from July 28 on ECM 3780649.
Lance.

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