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Charles Lloyd & The Marvels – Tone Poem

March 17, 2021

Tone Poem is the third album by Charles Lloyd & The Marvels. The group is impossible to categorize, is it jazz, country, folk, rock, etc.? On a previous release by this band I said:

“I am a jazz and country music fan and typically when you merge those you get western swing. This is something altogether different. It is Americana Jazz, mellow, yet rich.”

The quintet features the 82 year old master saxophonist/flutist with Bill Frisell on guitar, Greg Leisz on pedal steel guitar, Reuben Rogers on bass, and Eric Harland on drums.

The first album was fantastic. The second took it up a notch by adding Lucinda Williams on vocals. This one is as good as the first two. At 82 years young, Lloyd appears to have lost nothing in his playing ability and creativity.

For me the star of the show is the complementary conversation between Frisell and Leisz. Frisell is in the left channel and Leisz in the right. Their tones mingle so well.

The songs are Lloyd originals along with songs by Ornette Coleman, Thelonious Monk, Leonard Cohen, Gabor Szabo, and Bola de Nieve. The band has such a distinct sound that despite the diversity of composers, they sound like originals.

Sonically this recording is perfect. Lots of separation over a broad soundstage and super clean. This album is a fitting addition to the acclaimed Blue Note Tone Poet series. The series is aimed at audiophiles. I have only listened to the high resolution streams, but the vinyl in the series are supposed to be amazing.


From → Music Reviews

  1. I liked the first couple.

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