Jumping the Creek

Reeds man Charles Lloyd's spirituality-infused music has a meditative, quiet side and a roiling, ecstatic manner of expression.

Reeds man Charles Lloyd's spirituality-infused music has a meditative, quiet side and a roiling, ecstatic manner of expression. On his latest excursion, playfully titled "Jumping the Creek," Lloyd and his top-drawer quartet of pianist Geri Allen and bass/drum team Robert Hurst and Eric Harland commune in a reflective zone as well as launch into jaunty journeys of improvisation. The three extended numbers are full-length, passion-driven performances highlighted by the pockets of Lloyd's bold, lyrical blowing. Of note are the tenor sax's joyful/solemn cover of Jacques Brel's "Ne Me Quitte Pas" and the free-for-all "Georgia Bright Suite." The seven smaller pieces are more like short films that capture a moment, whether it's the frolic of the title tune, the lighthearted bounce of "Ken Katta Ma Om (Bright Sun Upon You)" or the exoticism of "The Sufi's Tears." Allen stars throughout with her elliptical and whimsical runs that spur on Lloyd's muses and gusts.—DO