Charles LloydThe Sky Will Still Be There TomorrowBlue Note

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Charles Lloyd returns with his latest musical offering, The Sky Will Still Be There Tomorrow, a majestic double album of new studio recordings from the legendary saxophonist which will be released on March 15, Lloyd’s 86th birthday. One of the most significant musicians of the 20th and 21st centuries, Lloyd remains at the peak of his powers in the company of a newly assembled quartet of four distinctive voices with the NEA Jazz Master joined by pianist Jason Moran, bassist Larry Grenadier, and drummer Brian Blade.

With The Sky Will Still Be There Tomorrow—Lloyd’s eleventh Blue Note album and his first new studio recording since the 2017 sessions that yielded his acclaimed releases Vanished Gardens and Tone Poem—he continues his monumental music making, an apex in American art, as a bandleader, a composer, a flutist, and a saxophonist. The album also gives us first-time recordings of six new Lloyd compositions including the title track, “The Water Is Rising,” “Late Bloom,” “The Ghost of Lady Day,” “Sky Valley, Spirit of the Forest,” and “When the Sun Comes Up, Darkness Is Gone.”

For more than six decades Charles Lloyd has loomed large over the music world with both his presence and his occasional absence. Lloyd was born in in 1938 in Memphis, Tennessee, where he apprenticed with jazz and blues legends including Phineas Newborn, Howlin’ Wolf, and B.B. King. While attending the University of Southern California in the late-1950s, Lloyd performed with prominent artists on the Los Angeles jazz scene including Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy, Bobby Hutcherson, Charlie Haden, Billy Higgins, Don Cherry, Scott LaFaro, and Gerald Wilson. In 1960, Lloyd became the music director in the Chico Hamilton Quintet, and later joined the Cannonball Adderley Sextet for a two-year stint before leaving to focus on his own career as a leader.

Lloyd signed with Columbia and released his debut album Discovery! in 1964. In 1965 he formed his first great Quartet with a young pianist named Keith Jarrett along with Cecil McBee and Jack DeJohnette. The Quartet’s first album Dream Weaver for Atlantic was followed by Forest Flower: Live at Monterey in 1967, a wildly successful album that became one of the first million-sellers in jazz and catapulted Lloyd to international fame.

The Quartet went on to perform at rock festivals and venues like the Fillmore in San Francisco where they co-headlined bills with Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, while Lloyd also collaborated with the likes of the Beach Boys, Grateful Dead, and The Doors. Then at the peak of his popularity he unexpectedly and voluntarily decided to leave the music world and disappeared to a Big Sur retreat for most of the 1970s. He stopped touring and would play saxophone for the trees and occasionally collaborate with poets and authors like Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Ken Kesey.

Lloyd re-emerged briefly in the early 1980s to help the French pianist Michel Petrucciani begin his career, releasing a single album for Blue Note featuring Petrucciani (A Night In Copenhagen) before disappearing again until 1989 when he began a fruitful 25-year relationship with ECM Records. Lloyd’s 16 albums for ECM re-established the saxophonist as one of the leading creative voices in jazz, and found him collaborating with artists including Bobo Stenson, John Abercrombie, Billy Higgins, Brad Mehldau, Geri Allen, and Zakir Hussain, and forming his acclaimed New Quartet with Jason Moran, Reuben Rogers, and Eric Harland.

Lloyd returned to Blue Note in 2015 and has since experienced yet another bloom in an unparalleled career by releasing a series of high-water mark recordings: Wild Man Dance (2015), an album-length suite composed for a unique group comprised of pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Joe Sanders, and drummer Gerald Cleaver with Greek lyra virtuoso Sokratis Sinopoulos and Hungarian cimbalom maestro Miklós Lukács; I Long to See You (2016) featuring The Marvels with guitarist Bill Frisell, pedal steel guitarist Greg Leisz, Rogers, and Harland plus guest vocalists Willie Nelson and Norah Jones; Passin’ Thru (2017), a passionate live recording that marked the 10th anniversary of the New Quartet; Vanished Gardens (2018), a transcendent collaboration with singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams and The Marvels; 8: Kindred Spirits (2020), a celebration of Lloyd’s 80th birthday captured live at The Lobero Theatre with Julian Lage, Clayton, Rogers, and Harland plus special guests Booker T. Jones and Don Was; Tone Poem (2021) featuring The Marvels’ unique weave of several threads of American music including Jazz, Blues, Americana, Country, and Rock; and Trio of Trios (2022), an expansive project which encompassed three albums each presenting Lloyd in a different trio setting.