Charles Lloyd

Of Course, Of Course

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Charles Lloyd's second album as a leader teams him with guitarist Gabor Szabo (his old friend from the Chico Hamilton group), bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Tony Williams. Although Lloyd was still a member of Cannonball Adderley's group, his playing on the set shows that he was clearly ready to become a leader. Seven of the nine diverse compositions are his originals; he takes "The Things We Did Last Summer" as a duet with Szabo and rips through "Apex," a trio number without the guitarist, but it is this cut most certainly reflects Ornette Coleman's influence (whereas Lloyd and everyone else who played tenor were being written about in the shadow of Coltrane). Certainly Coltrane's flurry of notes and deconstruction of chords is evident in places, but here, it is Coleman's unshakable sense of melody and rhyme that is most prevalent, and it sports is a brief but wonderfully woody solo by Carter. Other notable selections include "Goin' to Memphis" and Sammy Kahn's "Things We Did Last Summer" (where, according to Stanley Crouch's new liner notes, the saxophonist directly quotes the melody of Coleman's "Free at 3:00 of..."). Other cuts that really stand out here are the title track and the serious blowing session of "One for Joan," where the twinning and counterpoint interplay between Szabo and Lloyd is almost synchronous. Whether on tenor or flute, Lloyd was quickly coming into his own as an original voice, and this underrated set is a minor classic. [In 2007, Mosiac Records in its Singles series, reissued the recording for the first time on CD. In addition to a beautiful remastering job that is warm and clean, there are three bonus tracks also recorded in 1965 but not released until Lloyd's Nirvana album in 1968. Two of these, "Island Blues," and "Sun Dance" feature Albert Stinson on bass and Pete La Roca on drums in place of Carter and Williams. Another oddity is that in addition to Szabo's guitar playing, the Band's Robbie Robertson makes an appearance on the Caribbean-flavored latter tune. The other bonus cut, "East of the Sun and West of the Moon," uses the primary rhythm section, and was recorded for the original session, and left off the final version of the LP.]

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