Hagar's Song

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Hagar's Song is a deeply intimate, intuitive offering from saxophonist Charles Lloyd and pianist Jason Moran, who has been a key part of Lloyd's quartet since 2008. The program is a collection of standards and originals, as well as one thorny, angular free improvisation ("Pictogram"). The title piece is a five-part suite dedicated to the memory of Lloyd's great-great grandmother, who spent most of her life as a slave. Its various sections reflect the harshness of that life, as well as moments of hope and determination. This work is not always "comfortable" to listen to, and it's not meant to be, but it is musically rich and emotionally taut. Lloyd has always celebrated his ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Hagar's Song is a deeply intimate, intuitive offering from saxophonist Charles Lloyd and pianist Jason Moran, who has been a key part of Lloyd's quartet since 2008. The program is a collection of standards and originals, as well as one thorny, angular free improvisation ("Pictogram"). The title piece is a five-part suite dedicated to the memory of Lloyd's great-great grandmother, who spent most of her life as a slave. Its various sections reflect the harshness of that life, as well as moments of hope and determination. This work is not always "comfortable" to listen to, and it's not meant to be, but it is musically rich and emotionally taut. Lloyd has always celebrated his deep love of jazz and pop traditions, and those are in abundance here. The near-symbiotic dialogue the pair share on Billy Strayhorn's "Pretty Girl" and George Gershwin's "Bess You Is My Woman Now" offers both dialogic imagination as well as deep listening. (On the latter, Lloyd reveals how supple his tonal reach remains on the tenor as he nears 75; he sweeps from its middle register to something closer to the alto's.) The swinging read of "Mood Indigo" commences conventionally, but Moran's deft, blues-drenched, physical stride lends an urgency to the conversation. Likewise his punchy approach on Earl Hines' "Rosetta," where Lloyd takes the melody and opens up its joy vein, while Moran pumps it with rhythmic and lyric invention courtesy of his amazing left hand. Lloyd's love of rock and pop has its place here, too. On Bob Dylan's ballad "I Shall Be Released," Moran begins with a single repeating note, then a lone chord, as Lloyd tentatively states the melody. But by the second verse, he's quoting from Leon Russell's "A Song for You," as Moran moves its harmonic base to the modal. Lloyd brings it back via an emotional blues, but his tenor moves through its registers picking bits and pieces of the lyric line to meditate upon and explore with Moran. The closer, a reading of Brian Wilson's "God Only Knows" is just gorgeous. Moran's elaboration on the harmony in the intro sets it up outside its known parameters. Lloyd quotes the refrain and then takes the lyric line, exploring time and memory -- Lloyd ran around with the Beach Boys in Southern California in the late '60s. Satisfied, he turns it over to Moran to finish with a close, tender harmonic statement that whispers to a finish. Hagar's Song finds Lloyd and Moran at their most naturally curious and deeply attentive best, offering a conversation so intimate the listener may occasionally feel she is eavesdropping.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/26/2013
  • Label: Ecm Records
  • UPC: 602537245505
  • Catalog Number: 001800102
  • Sales rank: 15,334

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Pretty Girl - Jason Moran (4:51)
  2. 2 Mood Indigo - Jason Moran (5:17)
  3. 3 Bess, You Is My Woman Now - Jason Moran (3:39)
  4. 4 All About Ronnie - Jason Moran (4:20)
  5. 5 Pictogram - Jason Moran (3:59)
  6. 6 You've Changed - Jason Moran (4:51)
  7. 7 Hagar Suite: Journey Up River - Jason Moran (6:20)
  8. 8 Hagar Suite: Dreams of White Bluff - Jason Moran (9:46)
  9. 9 Hagar Suite: Alone - Jason Moran (2:30)
  10. 10 Hagar Suite: Bolivar Blues - Jason Moran (4:18)
  11. 11 Hagar Suite: Hagar's Lullaby - Jason Moran (5:44)
  12. 12 Rosetta - Jason Moran (4:41)
  13. 13 I Shall Be Released - Jason Moran (5:11)
  14. 14 God Only Knows - Jason Moran (3:31)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Charles Lloyd Primary Artist, Alto Flute, Bass Flute, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Jason Moran Piano, Tambourine
Technical Credits
George Gershwin Composer
Bob Dylan Composer
Brian Wilson Composer
Earl Hines Composer
Charles Lloyd Composer, Producer
Dominic Camardella Engineer
Duke Ellington Composer
Manfred Eicher Executive Producer
Bernie Grundman Mastering
Billy Strayhorn Composer
Carl Fischer Composer
Dorothy Darr Producer
Joe Greene Composer
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