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Journeys to ‘the further shore’

If veteran sax player Charles Lloyd frequently refers to the ocean in conversation, it may be because the jazz great’s playing bears many similarities to an enormous body of water.

If veteran sax player Charles Lloyd frequently refers to the ocean in conversation, it may be because the jazz great’s playing bears many similarities to an enormous body of water. Both have the unpredictable capacity to be fierce or smooth, and both are capable of almost unknowable depths. The 70-year-old musician agreed to answer a few questions by e-mail as he rested his pipes for four shows with his New Quartet at the Regatta Bar this weekend.

You seem comfortable working outside of your comfort zone, whether it be the diverse collaborators you choose, the bold venues you play or the opera you’re working on. What has been your favorite experience by stretching these boundaries?

New terrain, the further shore.

Is there anything musical that you absolutely would not feel comfortable playing?

No. Anything can be transformed.

What was your feeling when members of your band went on to play on some of Miles Davis’ most definitive work?

I didn’t really think about it. Miles was a great musician and a difficult personality, at times. I had disbanded the group and gone into retreat by then.

What’s your favorite key?

The key of the universe.

Your body of work is testimony to the power of collaboration. What does somebody who is going to play with you need to bring to the table for you to consider it a worthwhile experience?

Great talent, the ability to dance on many shores and a beginner’s mind.

 
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