UMS Concert Program, December 8, 2018 - Charles Lloyd & The Marvels with special guest Lucinda Williams
Charles Lloyd & The Marvels
with special guest
Charles Lloyd / Tenor Saxophone and Flute Lucinda Williams / Vocals
Bill Frisell / Guitars
Greg Leisz / Pedal Steel Guitar
Reuben Rogers / Bass Eric Harland / Drums
Saturday Evening, December 8, 2018 at 8:00 Michigan Theater
21st Performance of the 140th Annual Season 25th Annual Jazz Series
This evening’s performance is supported by the Doris & Herbert E. Sloan Endowment Fund, Dennis and Ellie Serras, and Comerica Bank.
Funded in part by the JazzNet Endowment Fund.
Media partnership provided by WEMU 89.1 FM, WDET 101.9 FM, Metro Times, and Ann Arbor’s 107one.
Charles Lloyd & The Marvels with special guest Lucinda Williams appear by arrangement with The Kurland Agency.
In consideration for the artists and the audience, please refrain from the use of electronic devices during the performance.
The photography, sound recording, or videotaping of this performance is prohibited.
This evening’s program will be announced by the artists from the stage and will be performed without intermission.
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This evening’s performance marks Charles Lloyd’s third appearance under UMS auspices, following his UMS debut in November 2003 at the Michigan Theater with the Charles Lloyd Quintet. He most recently appeared under UMS auspices in April 2012 at the Michigan Theater with the Charles Lloyd New Quartet. Guitarist Bill Frisell makes his fourth UMS appearance this evening, following his UMS debut in October 1999 at the Power Center with the Bill Frisell New Quartet. Mr. Frisell most recently appeared under UMS auspices
in March 2015 in two performances at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre. Pedal steel guitarist Greg Leisz makes his second UMS appearance this evening following his UMS debut in October 1999 with Bill Frisell’s New Quartet. Tonight marks bassist Reuben Rogers’s seventh UMS performance, following his UMS debut in November 1995 at the Power Center with the Marcus Roberts Trio
and Septet. He has appeared under UMS auspices with Dianne Reeves, and appeared most recently with the Charles Lloyd New Quartet in April 2012. Drummer Eric Harland makes his fth UMS appearance this evening, following his UMS debut in November 2003 with the Charles Lloyd Quintet. He appeared under UMS auspices with the SFJAZZ Collective in March 2006 and March 2008, and most recently with the Charles Lloyd New Quartet in April 2012.
MS welcomes Lucinda Williams as she makes her UMS debut this evening. 4
Born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1938, Charles Lloyd (tenor saxophone and ute) was immersed in Memphis’s rich musical life and was exposed to jazz. He began playing the saxophone at the age of nine. Pianist Phineas Newborn became his mentor, and took him to Irvin Reason for lessons. His closest friend in high school was trumpeter Booker Little. Mr. Lloyd worked in Phineas Senior’s band, and became a sideman in the Blues bands
of B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf, Johnnie Ace, Bobbie “Blue” Bland, and others.
In 1956 Mr. Lloyd moved to Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Southern California. During this period he played in Gerald Wilson’s big band, and formed his own group that included Billy Higgins, Don Cherry, Bobby Hutcherson, Scott LaFaro, and Terry Trotter. Mr. Lloyd joined Chico Hamilton in 1960. His in uence as a composer quickly pushed the group in a more progressive post- bop direction when Hamilton asked him to be the group’s music director. In 1964, Mr. Lloyd left Hamilton’s group to join
alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderley.
He recorded two albums as a leader for Columbia Records: Discovery and Of Course, Of Course; his sidemen included Gabor Szabo, Don Friedman, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Tony Williams, and Pete La Roca. In 1965 he formed a quartet with pianist Keith Jarrett, bassist Cecil McBee, and drummer Jack DeJohnette.
It was a meeting of straight-ahead post- bop, free jazz, rock, and world music. Their music quickly caught the attention of jazz fans and critics. They achieved crossover success with young rock fans and became the rst jazz group to play in the famed Fillmore. The album Forest Flower, Live at Monterey, sold over one million copies.
Disillusioned with the music business world, Mr. Lloyd retreated to Big Sur
for 10 years. Following a near-death experience in 1986, he decided to rededicate himself to music. In 1989, he reestablished an active touring schedule and began recording for ECM Records. Noteworthy albums include Fish Out of Water, Canto, Voice In the Night, The Water Is Wide (featuring Brad Mehldau, John Abercrombie, Larry Grenadier, and Billy Higgins), and Sangam with Zakir Hussain and Eric Harland. Rabo de Nube and Mirror are highly acclaimed recordings with his New Quartet with Jason Moran, Reuben Rogers, and Eric Harland.
Commissioned by Jazztopad in Wroclaw, Poland to write a new composition to premiere at their 2013 festival, Mr. Lloyd wrote Wild Man Dance Suite for piano, bass, drums, cimbalom, and lyra, released on Blue Note Records in 2015. Mr. Lloyd formed
the Marvels featuring Bill Frisell, Reuben Rogers, Eric Harland, and Greg Leisz, and released I Long To See You in 2016 (Blue Note Records). Their most recent album, Vanished Gardens, was released in June 2018 (Blue Notes Records) and is a collaboration with the great American singer and poet Lucinda Williams.
Three-time Grammy Award-winner Lucinda Williams (vocals) has been carving her own path for more than three decades. Born
in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Ms. Williams
had been imbued with a “culturally rich, economically poor” world view. Several years of playing the hardscrabble clubs gave her a solid enough footing to record a self-titled album that would become a touchstone for the embryonic Americana movement — helping launch a thousand musical ships along the way.
For the past 30 years, Ms. Williams has channeled her perspective as a proud
but vulnerable Southern female into a
string of stellar albums, each of which weave rock, country, folk, and blues so tightly that each of the elements seems to disappear. Lucinda Williams (1988) was her breakthrough disc, but her magnum opus, 1998’s Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, sealed her reputation as a formidable singer- songwriter. Ruminating on disappointments, fretting over lost friends, and celebrating the subtlest of life’s joys, it was an obvious masterpiece that resounds with immediacy. Car Wheels also earned the singer a Grammy for “Best Contemporary Folk Album” and became the rst commercially successful record of her career, going gold within a year of its release.
Ms. Williams was introduced to jazz legend Charles Lloyd through her work with guitarists Bill Frisell and Greg Leisz. They immediately felt a connection through their Southern roots and have joined each other in concert and in recording. Ms. Williams’ newest release on Highway 20 Records, This Sweet Old World, is a remake of the album on its 25th anniversary.
Born in Baltimore, Bill Frisell’s (guitars) interest in guitar began with his exposure to pop music on the radio. The Chicago blues soon became a passion through
the work of Otis Rush, B.B. King, Paul Butter eld, and Buddy Guy. In high school, he played in bands covering pop and soul classics, James Brown, and other dance material. Later, Mr. Frisell studied music
at the University of Northern Colorado before attending Berklee College of Music in Boston where he studied with John Damian, Herb Pomeroy, and Michael Gibbs. In 1978, Mr. Frisell moved for a year to Belgium where he concentrated on writing music. In this period, he toured
with Michael Gibbs and rst recorded with German bassist Eberhard Weber.
Over the years, Mr. Frisell has contributed to the work of such collaborators as Paul Motian, John Zorn, Elvis Costello, Ginger Baker, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Suzanne Vega, Loudon Wainwright III,
Van Dyke Parks, Vic Chesnutt, Rickie Lee Jones, Ron Sexsmith, Vinicius Cantuária, Marc Johnson (in Bass Desires), Ronald Shannon Jackson, Melvin Gibbs (in Power Tools), Marianne Faithful, John Sco eld, Jan Garbarek, Lyle Mays, Vernon Reid, Julius Hemphill, Paul Bley, Wayne Horvitz, Hal Willner, Robin Holcomb, Rinde Eckert, The Frankfurt Ballet, lm director Gus Van Sant, David Sanborn, David Sylvian, Petra Haden, and numerous others.
The word “ubiquitous” is usually placed in front of Greg Leisz’s (pedal steel guitar) name. With good reason — the man’s resume is daunting, boasting spots with Joni Mitchell, Sheryl Crow, Peter Case, Paul Westerberg, Meshell Ndegeocello, Victoria Williams, Joe Cocker, Dave Alvin, k.d. lang, Wilco, Lucinda Williams, Bruce Cockburn, Shawn Colvin, Paula Cole, and the Ventures. Not to be pigeonholed in just roots music, Mr. Leisz (pronounced “Lees”) has also played with the likes of Beck, Matthew Sweet, Bad Religion, the Smashing Pumpkins, and Brian Wilson.
Mr. Leisz spent his younger years catching acts like the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers in Southern California clubs. Part of his universal appeal — which certainly draws on the experimental nature of those in uences — comes
from an open-minded approach to lap
and pedal steel, an approach that casts aside Nashville references. Mr. Leisz is also somewhat of a stylistic chameleon: you can’t pin down a distinctive style for him because he chooses to serve and
accompany a song rather than place
his mark on it. His creativity and open- mindedness as a musician have allowed him a genre roving usually not accorded to renowned steel players. During the 1990s, Mr. Leisz also began making a name for himself as a producer, helming releases
by artists such as Rosie Flores, Dave Alvin, Tom Russell, and Lisa Mednick.
Raised in the Virgin Islands, Reuben Rogers (bass) was exposed to a wide variety of music including Calypso, reggae, jazz, Latin, and gospel. Encouraged by
his parents, Mr. Rogers was motivated to explore his exceptional musical talent. His rst instrument was the clarinet. He then experimented with the piano, saxophone, drums, and guitar before nding his true love in the bass at the age of 14.
As a result of playing the bass, Mr. Rogers was awarded numerous awards. He received various grants and scholarships from the St. Thomas Arts Council and other local organizations. He was chosen to study at Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan and Berklee College of Music’s ve-
week summer program in Boston. Upon completing Berklee’s summer program, Mr. Rogers was awarded a scholarship to the College of Music. After enrolling in 1992, he was the recipient of several outstanding student awards including a scholarship from the Fish Middleton Jazz Society.
Mr. Rogers earned his BM from Berklee College in 1997.
Since attending Berklee, Mr. Rogers has had the opportunity to work extensively with such jazz notables as Wynton Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Joshua Redman, Marcus Roberts, Branford Marsalis, Nicholas Payton, Carl Allen, Billy Pierce, Betty Carter, Danilo Perez, Johnny Grif n, Phil Woods, Donald Harrison, Mulgrew Miller, Jackie McLean, Benny Green, Mark Whit eld, Cyrus
Chestnut, Tom Harrell, George Duke, Marlena Shaw, and Dianne Reeves.
Eric Harland (drums) is destined to become a great drummer in jazz history. Internationally prominent, Mr. Harland is currently a member of Sangam, Charles Lloyd New Quartet, Charles Lloyd & The Marvels, James Farm, and AZIZA. Mr. Harland also has his own group, Voyager, with two recordings: Voyager, Live By Night and Vipassana. In DownBeat’s 65th Annual Readers Poll, he was on the short list of drummers, in the company of masters such as Roy Haynes and the late Elvin Jones. In 2008 he was voted the DownBeat Readers Poll “Rising Star Drummer.”
During a high school workshop, Wynton Marsalis discovered Mr. Harland and encouraged him to study in New York City. He left his hometown of Houston, Texas
to go to the Manhattan School of Music
on full scholarship. After music school,
Mr. Harland studied at Houston Baptist University (College of Biblical Studies) and became an ordained minister, but the pull of music was strong and cut short his career as a preacher. Performing live is one of Mr. Harland’s greatest joys. He has played with many jazz and music greats including Betty Carter, Joe Henderson, Joshua Redman, Wynton Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, McCoy Tyner, Michael Brecker, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and John Mayer.
TONIGHT’S VICTORS FOR UMS:
Doris and Herbert E. Sloan Endowment Fund
—Dennis and Ellie Serras
—JazzNet Endowment Fund
Supporters of this evening’s performance by Charles Lloyd & The Marvels with special guest Lucinda Williams.
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Tickets available at www.ums.org.
ON THE EDUCATION HORIZON...
12/16 Pre-Performance Talk: How Singers and Pianists Collaborate (Hill Auditorium Mezzanine Lobby, 3:00 pm)
Must have a ticket to that afternoon’s performance by Joyce DiDonato and Yannick Nézet-Séguin to attend.
1/18 Post-Performance Artist Q&A: The Great Tamer (Power Center, post-performance)
Must have a ticket to that evening’s performance of The Great Tamer to attend.
Educational events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.