The legendary saxophonist, composer, and jazz mystic Charles Lloyd celebrated his 80th birthday on March 15, 2018 at his hometown venue, Santa Barbara’s Lobero Theatre, with an unprecedented grouping of musical friends including guitarist Julian Lage, pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Reuben Rogers, and drummer Eric Harland, with special guests organist Booker T. Jones and bassist (and Blue Note President) Don Was joining the ensemble midway. Lloyd’s magnificent new album 8: Kindred Spirits (Live from The Lobero), which will be released February 14 on Blue Note Records, documents both the sights and sounds of that extraordinary concert, and arrives in a limited-edition deluxe boxset that includes 3-LPs, 2-CDs, and a DVD of the full performance, along with a 96-page hardcover book and 2 photo prints that commemorate the first 8 decades of Lloyd’s remarkable journey. The album will also be released in standard LP/DVD, CD/DVD, and digital versions that feature the concert’s first set.


A video of the quintet’s sublime performance ofRequiem” from the DVD has been released today, and the song is also available digitally to stream or download.


Lloyd has played the 150-year-old adobe theater in downtown Santa Barbara more often than any other venue, and more often than any other performer. Knowing that Marian Anderson sang there on February 14, 1940 makes it a sacred space for him. In the concert film you can see him bobbing with pleasure beneath his pointy, indigo knit cap, curly white hair, and long goatee. He beams at his neighbors, places the palms of his hands together and pulls them against his black sweater and golden tenor saxophone in the traditional Buddhist greeting.


A birthday is a door between the past and the future, and this concert reflected that truth. Representing the future were 34-year-old pianist Gerald Clayton, who performs regularly with Lloyd, and 31-year-old guitarist Julian Lage, who had performed with him when he was 12-years-old. Representing the past was 74-year-old organist and fellow Memphis native Booker T. Jones, who had never played with Lloyd at all. This was a one-of-a-kind line-up for a one-of-a-kind ritual.


“Today, I bring with me everything I’ve ever played, but I do it with beginner's mind. That way I get both the benefit of experience and the desire for new discoveries. Some nights I am blessed and the deities visit me. You can’t bring everything you know at once, because that's the error of youth. You have to choose the right notes, but I find that even now I’m finding new notes that I never had before.”


Charles Lloyd is an NEA Jazz Master and recent recipient of the prestigious French honor l'Ordre Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, which was presented to the saxophone legend during his European tour in November 2019.


Album pre-order:

“Requiem” single + video:





Charles Lloyd & The Marvels - Lucinda Williams


“Vanished Gardens sits in a sweet spot for Charles Lloyd, putting him at an intersection of different forms that have defined his career, from jazz standards to American pop singing, to meditative roots music. Despite early success, the recorded evidence is that Lloyd—at 80—is in his mature prime.” Pop Matters Jul 10, 2018

When Lucinda Williamsjoined Charles Lloyd & The Marvels at UCLA’s Royce Hall in April 2017, the musicians beamed with unbridled joy. Same for the fans fortunate to witness, to share the depths of the artistry and exploration happening on stage. There were tears, too, as Williams reached inside herself for expressions of love, longing and loss in equal measures. But the image that remains strongest from this remarkable night is of Lloyd, radiant and enchanted, at times not even playing, just taking in the wonders of this grouping that had come together around him.

That same energy and elation buzzed through the compact sessions in a Los Angeles studio that brought us the luminescent music heard on Vanished Gardens, the radiant new album featuring Lloyd and Williams with the singular set of talents that comprise The Marvels: Bill Frisell on guitar, Greg Leisz on pedal steel guitar, Reuben Rogers on bass and Eric Harland on drums — musicians who just as Lloyd and Williams have done have set their own courses, found their own ways of expression and exploration, while thriving most profoundly in sparks-filled collaborative settings.

Available on CD, Vinyl and iTunes. and HD Tracks

Charles Lloyd & The Marvels - I long to see you Charles Lloyd & The Marvels "I Long To See You" is now available on CD and vinyl.  The iconic saxophonist and recent NEA Jazz Master is in the company of a new band featuring guitarist, Bill Frisell and pedal steel master, Greg Leisz, along with his longtime quartet members bassist, Reuben Rogers and drummer, Eric Harland. The album also includes two remarkable guest vocal appearances by Willie Nelson and Norah Jones. This is a sumptuous collection of 10 songs that range from anti-war folk protests to traditional hymns to re-envisioned Lloyd originals from his earlier recordings. "I Long To See You" follows Lloyd’s masterful 2015 live album Wild Man Dance, which marked his triumphant return to Blue Note Records. While talking about his “call of the wild” at the time, Lloyd said, “I am still searching to find the sound. It is my path. I call myself a ‘sound seeker.’ The deeper I dive into the ocean of sound, I find there is still deeper and further to go.”

"If ever there was an eternal explorer, it's Charles Lloyd. This inquisitive soul has made a career out of surveying new frontiers, both within himself and beyond the borders of his own being... There's something that's just plain elusive in Lloyd's art, exemplified in that miraculous marriage between the act of departure and the sound of return." 
All About Jazz

"The album is gorgeous throughout, as Lloyd changes the complexion of his music without diminishing his individual sound or personality. " 
The Chicago Reader

NPR Music Review

Charles Lloyd Quartet - I Long To See You (Album thumbnail)

Charles Lloyd /
I Long To See You

Available on CD, Vinyl, iTunes and HD Tracks
iTunes (download), Amazon (CD & vinyl), HD Tracks


This is a truly memorable album: perhaps the finest of Lloyd's career and destined to become a classic."

Charles Lloyd Quartet - Mirror (Album thumbnail)

Charles Lloyd /
Wild Man Dance

Available on CD, Vinyl, iTunes and HD Tracks
iTunes (download), Amazon (CD & vinyl), Album trailer.