Editor's note: The album covers accompanying this survey appear separately in our "photo gallery" which can be accessed near the bottom of the home page. We are proud to have Elliot Kallen's byline appear on musicangle.com
(This is a survey of the recorded output of saxophonist Charles Lloyd, from his first appearance on record with the Chico Hamilton band to his present work on the ECM label as leader. As such, it's not a detailed listing of every single date he's done, merely my personal choices for content, interest, or historical context. I've used the framework of an interview with Lloyd to flesh out some of the circumstances and musical environments that helped produce the albums. In other words, if I've left out one of your favorite Lloyd sessions...get over it.)—EK
In the middle 1960's, Charles Lloyd's jazz group was a bona fide phenomenon. Audiences connected with their vibrant blending of jazz improvisation and propulsive rock rhythms. They were the first jazz group booked into the premiere rock palace of the day, the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco. They brought their heady concoction of musical freedom to virtually every corner of the globe, and were received as avatars in the process. Critics were often divided, but the audiences, mostly composed of younger people, were immediately drawn to the band's sound. An album recorded live at the Monterey Jazz Festival, Forest Flower, sold like a rock album.