WEATHER »
Charles Lloyd & The Marvels

David Bazemore

Charles Lloyd & The Marvels


Charles Lloyd & The Marvels

Lucinda Williams Joins Lloyd and Bill Frisell at the Lobero


With his new group, The Marvels, Charles Lloyd has got both the name and the time right. The name fits because this collection of musicians — guitarists Bill Frisell and Greg Leisz, bassist Reuben Rogers, and drummer Eric Harland — really is marvelous and beyond compare in its hybrid idiom of free jazz, rock, and Americana. The time is right because, especially with the addition of Lucinda Williams on vocals, the group speaks directly to the current national predicament. While riding on a groove of hope and joy, this music dares to challenge the darker side of authority, and the at-capacity crowd at the Lobero last Monday responded with fervor to its call.

For the first half of the single, long set, the band stretched out on a series of buoyant instrumentals, including a touching rendition of the Beach Boys’ “In My Room.” Lloyd, Frisell, and Leisz communicate with extraordinary empathy, with ideas running back and forth until call and response merges into a single, impassioned voice. Once Lucinda Williams joined them, the focus shifted from heavenly music to earthly concerns and reached a climax of purposeful protest on Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War,” which Williams sang with ferocity.

By David Bazemore

Charles Lloyd & The Marvels

If we are ever going to reach the promised land implied by a tune such as “Shenandoah” — which the group played to open the night — it’s going to take the determination exhibited not only in “Masters of War” but also in Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come,” which Williams introduced by saying, “This song has never been more relevant than it is now.” Amen to that and to this important group. For his part, Lloyd was in fine form on sax and flute, and charged with energy, even when he was listening to Frisell and shaking his maracas. Let’s hope he continues to do it all for a long time to come. We need him now.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Lawmakers Move to Impede Offshore Oil Leases

A pair of bills aim to counter the federal government's new push for production.

More Money Available for Santa Barbara County’s Disaster Victims

The United Way is giving to Santa Barbara nonprofits and offering direct cash grants.

Santa Barbara’s Commuter Train Brings Solid Ridership and Timely Service

The first two weeks of service have seen a daily average topping 180 riders.

Animal Care for New Cuyama

County Animal Services will host free and discount pet services on April 22.

Goleta’s Library Is Seeking Volunteers

As it separates from Santa Barbara, help needed to change barcodes.