Charles Lloyd has released his new album Tone Poem—the first record he’s made with his band The Marvels that features no vocal contributions.
Bill Frisell (guitar), Greg Leisz (pedal steel guitar), Reuben Rogers (bass) and Eric Harland (drums) joined Lloyd on tenor saxophone as The Marvels in 2016 for the album I Long to See You. They reconvened two years later for 2018’s Vanished Gardens.
In contrast to those albums—which featured Norah Jones, Willie Nelson and Lucinda Williams as special guests—Tone Poem is just Lloyd and his band. Together, they take on compositions by Ornette Coleman (“Peace” and “Ramblin’”), Leonard Cohen (“Anthem”) and more.
The record also arrives three days before Lloyd marks his 83rd birthday. “When I think back on my life and how long I’ve been here,” he said in a statement, “most of my heroes left long before the age I’ve attained. I am always paying homage in a dream state of bringing a better world, a universe that heals and touches. The model of the world as it exists is very primitive to me. Man’s inhumanity to man continues to cause great pain and destruction. And yet, the fierceness of exploration stays fresh with me. I’m not here for roses. I’m still blessed and interested.”
Stream Tone Poem below: