Charles Lloyd's Sangam On JazzSet Charles Lloyd is celebrating his 75th birthday with a new album, Hagar's Song, and concert in the Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Sangam performs at the 2011 Newport Jazz Festival. From left to right: Eric Harland, Zakir Hussain and Charles Lloyd. Erik Jacobs for NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Erik Jacobs for NPR

Sangam performs at the 2011 Newport Jazz Festival. From left to right: Eric Harland, Zakir Hussain and Charles Lloyd.

Erik Jacobs for NPR

JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater

Charles Lloyd's Sangam On JazzSetWBGO

Charles Lloyd's Sangam On JazzSet

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/142205818/174243210" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

For his uncompromising and serious music, the 2011 Newport Jazz Festival was eager to present Charles Lloyd. He could bring any group he wanted, they told him. Lloyd said yes, and that he would bring Sangam, an East-West trio with one CD and few performances on the schedule. It was a coup!

As Ben Ratliff wrote in The New York Times, "Sangam, the trio of the saxophonist Charles Lloyd, the percussionist Zakir Hussain and the drummer Eric Harland, played and sang — for Mr. Hussain, there's sometimes no difference — through a meditative set of Indian music and free improvisation ... [It] was one of the best stretches of the day." Ratliff concluded that the trio's performance created "a sense that this moment might be bigger than music."

Sangam means confluence in Sanskrit. The group came together in 2006 to honor drummer Billy Higgins (1936-2001), a dear friend of Lloyd and great influence on Lloyd's music. Tabla drummer Hussain sits cross-legged on a beautiful carpet opposite Harland, who moves between drums and piano. In the center, Lloyd plays saxophone, Hungarian tarogato, flute, maracas and piano. Their fluid, meditative music moves through moods and textures with a controlled intensity.

Lloyd was born and raised in Memphis. Host Dee Dee Bridgewater's father, Matthew Garrett, was Lloyd's music teacher at Manassas High School. Charles Lloyd moved to Los Angeles, earned his Master's Degree at USC, and worked consistently in the 1960s with drummer Chico Hamilton and the Cannonball Adderley band. The high point came with Lloyd's quartet appearing at San Francisco's great rock venue, The Fillmore, and the recording Forest Flower, Live at Monterey.

Forest Flower sold over a million copies, but it ended an era for Lloyd. He withdrew to Big Sur to find solitude and a new way of living, and did not return to performing for more than a decade.

Hussain was born in Mumbai and made his first trip to the U.S. in 1970, before turning 20. Over the decades, Hussain has worked with George Harrison, Shakti with John McLaughlin, and these days with banjoist Bela Fleck. Harland, from Houston, is a generation younger than Hussain, but is already a longtime member of Lloyd's quartet and the SF Jazz Collective. At Newport, Harland played with three groups: Sangam, James Farm and the Avishai Cohen Trio.

Credits

Our recording is by Steve Remote and the Aura Sonic Ltd. team; Surround Sound mix by JazzSet's Duke Markos.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Jazz

American jazz trumpeter Harry 'Sweets' Edison performs in 1991. David Redfern/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption David Redfern/Getty Images

Harry 'Sweets' Edison On Piano Jazz

On this episode of Piano Jazz from 1999, broadcast just months before Edison died, the legendary jazz trumpeter joins Marian McPartland for a few classics and an original.

Harry 'Sweets' Edison On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/612283249/612285662" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
George Kopp/Courtesy of the artist

Virginia Mayhew On Piano Jazz

Saxophonist, composer and bandleader Virginia Mayhew joins forces with Marian McPartland to perform "All the Things You Are" and "Body and Soul" on this 1998 episode of Piano Jazz.

Virginia Mayhew On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/610083723/610086310" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Joanne Brackeen and Jason Moran at NPR's Studio One in Washington, D.C. Eric Lee/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Eric Lee/NPR

Jazz Giants Take The Stage At The NEA Jazz Masters Listening Party

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Jason Moran sat down with the NEA Jazz Masters to talk about their careers and listen to music that played important roles in their lives.

Jazz Giants Take The Stage At The NEA Jazz Masters Listening Party

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/608093895/608239849" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

This 1988 episode of Piano Jazz features Brazilian pianist, composer, and vocalist Eliane Elias. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Eliane Elias On Piano Jazz

Brazilian pianist, composer, and vocalist Eliane Elias is a renowned artist in her home country and in the American jazz scene. Hear her first Piano Jazz performance from 1988.

Eliane Elias On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/607421826/607450646" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Willie Pickens On Piano Jazz

Chicago jazz mainstay Willie Pickens died this past December at age 86. Revisit his performance with McPartland in this 1997 episode of Piano Jazz.

Willie Pickens On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/604342537/604343909" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Cleo Brown on the cover of Here Comes Cleo. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Cleo Brown On Piano Jazz

Cleo Brown makes a rare appearance to perform her greatest hit, "Pinetop's Boogie-Woogie," and to recall the style's heyday in the 1930s.

Cleo Brown On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/602133644/602133663" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The 2018 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Dianne Reeves, Pat Metheny, Joanne Brackeen and Todd Barkan are recipients of the 2018 Jazz Masters award — the highest honor the U.S. gives to a jazz musician or advocate.

Gus Bennett, Jr./Courtesy of the artist

Nicholas Payton On Piano Jazz

The trumpet prodigy learned how to improv from fellow New Orleans native Wynton Marsalis. Payton was only in his 20s when he visited with McPartland for this 1998 episode.

Nicholas Payton On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/598825823/600192516" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Cecil Taylor performs at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall in 2002. Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images

Cecil Taylor On Piano Jazz

Cecil Taylor encompasses a never-ending range of sound and emotion. Hear an archival session with Marian McPartland from 1994.

Cecil Taylor On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/600173531/600190821" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top