On April 14, 2015, 76-year-old tenor saxophone legend Charles Lloyd will mark the start of a new chapter in his life with the release of his first Blue Note album in almost three decades. Lloyd has returned to Blue Note for his latest project, a live album titled ‘Wild Man Dance.’
The new album represents a live recording of a long-form suite which premiered at the 2013’s Jazztopad Festival in Wroclaw, Poland. The format of his return is fitting, considering his last Blue Note release, 1985’s A Night in Copenhagen, was a live recording from the 1983 Copenhagen Jazz Festival.
On April 18, four days after the album’s release, the suite will have its North American premiere in the Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, followed closely by a four-night residency at SFJAZZ between April 23-26. Lloyd is also due to perform at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on May 2 and the Iowa City Jazz Festival on July 4.
And as if he doesn’t have enough going on, on April 20 Lloyd will be honored as an NEA Jazz Master.
“When Don Was became head of Blue Note, he came up to see us and invited me to record for the label,” Lloyd said, before explaining that he moved to Blue Note for the freedom to, “stretch my wings wider and find new thermals to soar on. It is all a continuation of my search and service in sound.”
“It wasn’t until a near death experience in 1986 that I fully rededicated myself to this beautiful tradition from which I come.” Explaining his inspiration for the suite, Lloyd said: “I come from a tradition of wild yogis. I’m a blues man on a spiritual journey. The blues come out of a quest for freedom. My spiritual path is the search for the liberation of the soul.”
The six-movement suite features pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Joe Sanders, and drummer Gerald Cleaver, alongside Sokratis Sinopoulos on the lyra and Miklós Lukács on the cimbalom.