180g Vinyl 3LP Box Set Gathers Three Distinct Albums Charles Lloyd Recorded in Three Different Trio Settings Alongside the Likes of Bill Frisell, Thomas Morgan, Anthony Wilson, Gerald Clayton, Julian Lage and Zakir Hussain
Charles Lloyd has long been a free spirit, master musician, and visionary. Early on Lloyd saw how placing the improvised solo in interesting and original contexts could provoke greater freedom of expression and inspire creativity, and throughout his remarkable career he has searched for alternative ways to frame his improvisational skills. For more than 6 decades the legendary saxophonist and composer has loomed large over the music world, and at 84 years old he remains at the height of his powers and as prolific as ever.
As a sound seeker, Lloyd's restless creativity has perhaps found no greater manifestation than on his latest masterwork Trio of Trios, an expansive project that encompasses three albums, each a deft change of musical context that presents him in a different trio setting. The first album in the series, Trios: Chapel (June 2022), features guitarist Bill Frisell and bassist Thomas Morgan. The second, Trios: Ocean (September 2022), features guitarist Anthony Wilson and pianist Gerald Clayton. The third, Trios: Sacred Thread (November 2022), features guitarist Julian Lage and percussionist Zakir Hussain.
Trios: Chapel was named after the group's inaugural performance in December 2018 at Coates Chapel in San Antonio. Frisell had already cemented his relationship with Lloyd as a charter member of The Marvels when he was invited by Lloyd to join him in a special concert at Coates Chapel on the Southwest School of Arts campus in San Antonio. Lloyd was already familiar with the acoustic properties of the chapel and knew it would not support drums or percussion. He was also aware that Frisell had recorded in a duo context with Morgan, with whom he had developed a close musical rapport, and suggested they might all come together as a trio. The Coates concert left an indelible impression on Lloyd, who later said, "Our first performance has always had a magical place in my memory bank."
Trios: Ocean was recorded in the 150-year-old Lobero Theater in Lloyd's hometown of Santa Barbara, California. It was live streamed without an audience on September 9, 2020, during the first year of the global pandemic. Lloyd was joined by Gerald Clayton on piano and Anthony Wilson on guitar, both sons of famous musician fathers – Gerald is the son of West Coast bass legend John Clayton, while Anthony is the son of celebrated bandleader, trumpeter, and composer Gerald Wilson, in whose big band Lloyd once played when he moved from Memphis to study at the University of Southern California when in his teens.
Trios: Sacred Thread was recorded in September 2020 at The Paul Mahder Gallery in Healdsburg, California as a livestream concert for a virtual audience. Past experiences often illuminate the present in Lloyd' music, for example, the provenance of The Sacred Thread – and the encounters that helped inform it – originated in the late fifties: "When I was studying at the University of Southern California, Ravi Shankar and Alla Rakha used to come around. That's when I heard the call of Mother India," he recalls. "Zakir and I played together in concert for the first time in 2001, and it was then I learned Alla Rakha was his father, so it has been like that... connections on a journey. You could call it Providence, I call it a Sacred Thread."
The Trio of Trios 180g vinyl 3LP box set includes all three albums and comes housed in a hardcover slipcase.
- 180g vinyl 3LP box set
- Trios: Chapel (June 2022) featuring guitarist Bill Frisell and bassist Thomas Morgan
- Trios: Ocean (September 2022) featuring guitarist Anthony Wilson and pianist Gerald Clayton
- Trios: Sacred Thread (November 2022) featuring guitarist Julian Lage and percussionist Zakir Hussain
- Hardcover slipcase
- Blood Count
- Song My Lady Sings
- Ay Amor
- Beyond Darkness
- Dorotea's Studio
- The Lonely One
- Hagar and the Inuits
- Jaramillo Blues (For Virginia Jaramillo and Danny Johnson)
- Isa Wind
- Desolation Sound
- Nachekita's Lament
- Tales of Rumi
- The Blessing