Modern jazz luminary, Charles Lloyd breaks out his customary arsenal of woodwinds to complement his piano and percussion expertise during this Indo-jazz offering recorded live in Santa Barbara, CA. Under ordinary circumstances, one might surmise that that an outing of this nature might be rooted within transcendental frameworks, steeped in mysticism and East Indian modal characteristics. Hence, that notion surfaces but Lloyd’s revved-up improvisations atop tabla master Zakir Hussein and jazz drummer/percussionist Eric Harland’s oscillating rhythms signify a jazzier state of mind.
Lloyd’s soul-stirring sax and flute maneuvers commingle Western scales and East-Indian musical theories. And in spots, Hussein and Harland engage in extended percussion workouts, where the latter, conveys his multitasking faculties in prominent fashion. With dueling tablas, amid a hodgepodge of jazz-entrenched flavors, the trio serves as expert crowd pleasers throughout these largely, exhilarating performances. At times Harland generates staggered swing vamps in collaboration with Hussein’s steady-state, raga-like pulses in support of Lloyd’s hypnotic choruses. On "Guman," Hussein’s softly uttered chants set the parameters for a minimalist style undercurrent, counterbalanced by Harland’s lower-register piano voicings. Lloyd follows with mysterious phrasings performed on alto-flute, as thoughts of uncovering life’s mysteries come to mind. Nonetheless, the musicians’ mix it up well via a symmetrical performance that covers quite a few divergent angles, comprised with tender moments and soaring exchanges.