Old Friends, Deep Truths and New Music at the Annual NEA Jazz Masters Awards

NEA Chairman Jane Chu with 2015 NEA Jazz Masters Charles Lloyd, Carla Bley, George Coleman, and Joe Segal at the NEA Jazz Masters Reunion Luncheon, hosted by BMI. Photo by Michael G. Stewart

I checked neither raincoat nor briefcase on my way into Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall for the annual National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award Ceremony and Concert.
But I did check my cynicism—I always do for this thing.
My thoughts and some excerpts from the acceptance speeches here.

Arrows Into Infinity: Tracing Saxophonist Charles Lloyd's Flight Paths

Lloyd celebrating his 75th birthday in concert at the Metropolitan Museum of Art last year, with pianist Jason Moran/photo Dorothy Darr.

I’ve long been fascinated with the music of saxophonist Charles Lloyd for its soaring beauty and unwavering focus and with Lloyd, the man, for his singular story. “Arrows Into Infinity,” a documentary about Lloyd directed and produced by his wife, Dorothy Darr, and Jeffery Morse, and recently released in DVD and Blu-ray formats by Mr. Lloyd’s longtime music label, ECM, open a window wide on these subjects, distilling inherent mysteries and complicated truths without diluting them.

Darr told me in an interview for my piece in today’s Wall Street Journal that she aimed to provide “a fuller picture of who Charles is as a human being and an artist, navigating his life and upholding his ideals.” This is no straight chronology. “It reflects Charles’s speaking style, which is not really linear,” Ms. Darr said. Continue reading “Arrows Into Infinity: Tracing Saxophonist Charles Lloyd's Flight Paths”