"Charles Lloyd, Jumping the Creek (ECM)
Too much jazz saxophone? Never. Lloyd has been playing since before Coltrane died, and he's seen jazz trends (psychedelic jazz-soul?) come and go. But he's been refining his vision for the last decade or so, and it includes talented pianist Geri Allen, who ably bridges old-school melody and the avant-garde. The original compositions reference a combination of post-bop, minimalism, European chamber jazz, early music and folk music from different cultures. Nothing I've heard this year is as startlingly beautiful as this album's opener, a cover of Jacques Brel's "Ne Me Quitte Pas."
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