Fish out of Water was the first in a string of recordings Charles Lloyd made for ECM throughout the '90s and into the next century. As such, this album ended a long reclusive period for Lloyd and re-established him as a major post-Coltrane tenor stylist. Joining him and his new piano partner, Bobo Stenson, are Palle Danielsson on bass and Jon Christensen on drums -- the players who comprised the rhythm section of Keith Jarrett's famed European quartet. There's a serene, haunting quality to much of the music, particularly "Haghia Sophia" and "Tellaro," both of which feature Lloyd on flute (possibly alto flute on the former). The quartet picks up the pace on the swinging "Eyes of Love" and locks into a Coltrane-esque slow burn on "The Dirge." The title track contains some parallel major sevenths that recall "Forest Flower," Lloyd's most famous song. While some may find the disc a bit too placid overall, there's much to be said for Lloyd's unruffled, effortlessly bluesy playing.
AllMusic Review by David R. Adler