Friday, November 10, 2006


There are certain musical moments that you witness, participate in, are connected to that just send you to the floor. This was one of those.

Charles Lloyd, Zakir Hussain, and Eric Harland came together to play at the Library of Congress on Tuesday, as Sangam - a tamil word meaning togetherness. Two established ledgends and one guy who can't help but become one, it was a spectacle, an event in the grandest sense.

The whole thing flowed organically, one tune to the next - obviously picking out songs would be impossible without a set list. But the forces grew and shrank, from solos, to duets, to trios and what felt like more as the set switched out for keys, and the tabla doubled as both percussion, melodic line, and the dead ringer sound for an upright bass.

These guys are impossible to take your eyes off of - Hussain must have a few extra fingers squirreled away, because everything you saw a flick of one finger, eight notes would emit from the drums. Harland too - moving as fast as he could to keep up in trading fours across the stage to the tabla, but making the whole thing a cacophony of sound with a flick of a stick.

And Lloyd - the granddaddy, the grandmaster, the grand wizard of the occasion. His playing is impressive, but more so the feeling that he sits at the nexus of this little musical universe of his own design, twitching a finger or a elbow or a knee to push the whole thing swinging in a new direction. His lanky awkwardness folds in on it self and expands back outwards again, bringing the music forth with sheer physical will.

It was a remarkable that I'll remeber for a long long time.

1 comment:

Dacks said...

Awww yeah... their album was one of my favourites of this year. I'm jealous that you got to see them!