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08 June 2018 (Toronto, ON) - Charles Lloyd & The Marvels release the new single, Defiant”, via Blue Note/Universal Music Canada, the country’s leading music company, today. The spellbinding opening incantation of Lloyd’s forthcoming album, Vanished Gardens, is a fascinating collaboration between the NEA Jazz Master saxophonist and the acclaimed GRAMMY-winning singer and songwriter Lucinda Williams, who appears on half of the album’s 10 songs. “Defiant” follows the release of “We’ve Come Too Far To Turn Around” featuring Williams, which Stereogum called “an exciting hybrid of jazz, blues, and country rock.” The Marvels are Bill Frisell on guitar, Greg Leisz on pedal steel guitar and dobro, Reuben Rogers on bass, and Eric Harland on drums.


“We know each other better now and therefore we can travel more freely down certain paths,” says Lloyd, reflecting upon how The Marvels have evolved since their 2016 debut I Long To See You, which NPR described as “music that evokes an uncommon state of grace.” That album featured guest vocals from both Willie Nelson and Norah Jones, but the collaborative nature the band has nurtured with Williams has led them to even greater heights of expression. “I think on the new recording we were able to let go and plunge deeply into the sound,” Lloyd says.


Williams is featured on five tracks on Vanished Gardens, including expansive new versions of her well-known songs “Dust”, “Ventura” and “Unsuffer Me”, as well as a full-hearted interpretation of Jimi Hendrix’s “Angel” that closes the album. Alternating with the vocal tracks are five sublime instrumental offerings including three new Lloyd originals and versions of Thelonious Monk’s “Monk’s Mood” and the Roberta Flack popularized song, “Ballad of The Sad Young Men”.


Lloyd celebrated his 80th birthday in March and is marking the milestone throughout 2018 with special concerts, residencies, and festival performances including the Newport Jazz Festival where Lloyd will be the Artist In Residence performing three sets with different bands. Lloyd and Williams will appear together this weekend at the Playboy Jazz Festival (June 10), as well as upcoming performances at Newport Jazz Festival (August 5), Monterey Jazz Festival (September 23), Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater (December 14-15), and more.


For nearly 60 years, saxophonist Charles Lloyd has loomed large over the music world with both his presence and his occasional absence. Lloyd was born in 1938 in Memphis, Tennessee, where he apprenticed with jazz and blues legends including Phineas Newborn, Howlin’ Wolf, and B.B. King. While attending the University of Southern California in the late 1950s, Lloyd performed with prominent artists on the Los Angeles jazz scene including Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy, Charlie Haden, Billy Higgins, and Gerald Wilson. In 1960, Lloyd became the music director in the Chico Hamilton Quintet, and later joined the Cannonball Adderley Sextet for a two-year stint before leaving to focus on his own career as a leader.


Lloyd signed with Columbia and released his debut album Discovery! in 1964. The next year, he formed his first great Quartet with a young pianist named Keith Jarrett along with bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Jack DeJohnette. The Quartet’s first album, Dream Weaver, was followed by Forest Flower: Live at Monterey in 1967, a wildly successful album that became one of the first million-sellers in jazz and catapulted Lloyd to international fame.


The Quartet went on to perform at rock festivals and venues like the Fillmore in San Francisco where they co-headlined bills with Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, while Lloyd also collaborated with the likes of The Beach Boys, The Grateful Dead, and The Doors. Then, at the peak of his popularity, he unexpectedly and voluntarily decided to leave the music world and disappeared to a Big Sur retreat for most of the 1970s. He stopped touring and would play saxophone for the trees and occasionally collaborate with poets and authors like Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Ken Kesey.


Lloyd re-emerged briefly in the early 1980s to help the French pianist Michel Petrucciani begin his career, releasing a single album for Blue Note featuring Petrucciani (A Night In Copenhagen) before disappearing again until 1989 when he began a fruitful 25-year relationship with ECM Records. Lloyd’s 16 albums for ECM re-established the saxophonist as one of the leading creative voices in jazz, and found him collaborating with artists including Bobo Stenson, John Abercrombie, Billy Higgins, Brad Mehldau, Geri Allen, and Zakir Hussain, and forming his acclaimed New Quartet with Jason Moran, Reuben Rogers, and Eric Harland.


When Don Was became head of Blue Note in 2011, he invited Lloyd to record for the label. Lloyd ultimately accepted the invitation, with a mission in mind: “I want to stretch my wings wider and find new thermals to soar on. It is all a continuation of my search and service in sound.”


Lloyd’s 2015 Blue Note release, Wild Man Dance, was an album-length suite composed for a unique group comprised of pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Joe Sanders, drummer Gerald Cleaver, Greek lyra virtuoso Sokratis Sinopoulos, and Hungarian cimbalom maestro Miklós Lukács. For his 2016 album, I Long to See You, Lloyd formed a guitar-driven band called The Marvels featuring guitarist Bill Frisell and pedal steel guitarist Greg Leisz along with Rogers and Harland. In 2017, Lloyd released Passin’ Thru, a passionate live recording that marked the 10th anniversary of the New Quartet and prompted the Los Angeles Times to declare him “an artist with a focus still firmly fixed forward. At 79 years old, Lloyd sounds as if he’s just getting started.”


Lloyd’s life story was powerfully told in the 2014 documentary Arrows Into Infinity. He was named an NEA Jazz Master in 2015 and received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music. In 2016, Lloyd was inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame and The Atlantic published the profile “The Re-Flowering: Charles Lloyd's Second Golden Age” proffering that “The jazz saxophonist went from 1960s pop stardom to years of self-imposed exile, but he’s now producing some of the best music of his career.”



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