Charles Lloyd is a jazz saxophonist and composer, known for his unique sound and improvisational style. He was born on March 15, 1938, in Memphis, Tennessee. Growing up, he was influenced by the blues and gospel music of the region.
Lloyd began his professional career in the early 1960s, playing with blues musicians such as B.B. King and Bobby “Blue” Bland, as well as jazz musicians like Chico Hamilton and Cannonball Adderley. In 1964, he joined the Charles Mingus Quintet and later formed his own group, the Charles Lloyd Quartet, which included pianist Keith Jarrett, bassist Cecil McBee, and drummer Jack DeJohnette.
The Charles Lloyd Quartet gained fame for their innovative sound, which blended elements of jazz, rock, and world music. They released several acclaimed albums in the late 1960s, including “Forest Flower” and “Love-In”, which became hits with both jazz and rock audiences.
In the 1970s, Lloyd took a break from music to focus on his spiritual practice and explore Eastern philosophy. He returned to performing in the 1980s and continued to record and tour extensively, collaborating with a variety of musicians including Michel Petrucciani, Geri Allen, and Zakir Hussain.
Lloyd has received numerous honors throughout his career, including a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award in 2015. He was also inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame in 2017.
In 2022, at the age of 84, Lloyd released a trio of albums, “The Search,” “The Question,” and “The Answer,” which explore themes of spirituality and self-discovery through his signature improvisational style. In an interview with NPR, Lloyd described his approach to music as “soul searching” and “looking for the inner voice.” He continues to inspire and innovate in the world of jazz music.
Page last updated on 3/26/2023.