On 15 January, almost exactly a year after uDiscover reported that jazz saxophone master Charles Lloyd had signed to Blue Note, he and his band the Marvels will release their label debut, I Long To See You. The ten-song set features two highly notable guest vocal cameos, by Willie Nelson and Norah Jones.
Lloyd’s stellar band for the project includes famed guitarist Bill Frisell and pedal steel notable Greg Lesz, with his regular quartet members, Reuben Rogers on bass and Eric Harland on drums. The lead track from the album, ‘Of Course, Of Course’ is out now to buy or stream in the US, and is a remake of the title song from his 1965 album.
Nelson features on a version of ‘Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream,’ while Jones sings on a cover of Billy Preston and Bruce Fisher’s composition ‘You Are So Beautiful.’ The album also features interpretations of such traditional favourites as ‘Abide With Me,’ ‘Shenandoah’ and ‘All My Trials,’ and opens with a cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Masters Of War.’
“When I was living in Big Sur, a friend gave me a copy of Stardust,” says Lloyd about Nelson’s involvement. “I recognized a synchronicity between us in his choice of songs. Willie is a very soulful, independent outsider who loves the Zone. He has been paving the Freedom Trail for many years now, and we follow in his wake. I was incredibly honored that he accepted the invitation to sing on ‘Strangest Dream.’”
He adds of Jones’ appearance on ‘You Are So Beautiful’: “During my concerts, I sometimes play it as an encore,” he says. “For a long time in my mind’s ear I could hear Norah’s warmth caressing the lyrics. She became an extraordinary, beautiful sixth instrument in the rendition of the song.”
Lloyd and the Marvels will start a winter tour of North America on 24 January, which includes shows at Jazz at Lincoln Centre on the 29th and 30th of the month.