Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Charles Lloyd: Arrows Into Infinity

Directed by Jeffrey Morse and Dorothy Darr, the latter who is Charles Lloyd's painter/filmmaker wife, the documentary Charles Lloyd: Arrows Into Infinity chronicles the influential saxophonist and composer's life and career range.
Charles Lloyd was one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 1960s. His music crossed traditional boundaries and explored new territories. Born in Memphis, he grew up steeped in the blues but with an ear for modernity. At the age of 26, he was a bandleader with two successful records on Columbia Records, including Forest Flower, recorded live at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1966. His group, the Charles Lloyd Quartet, was comprised of an undiscovered Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette and Cecil McBee.
Lloyd shattered boundaries and charted new territories. Catapulted into worldwide fame in his 20s, by his early 30s, he was burned out and left a public life behind to go into seclusion in Big Sur, Calif. for over a decade.
Arrows Into Infinity is a journey in sound through the unusual life and career of this jazz legend. Through contemporary and archival film, along with commentary from the jazz, pop, art and literary worlds, we come to better understand this enigmatic man and his spiritual pursuit through music. Lloyd launched the careers of Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette, and French pianist Michel Petrucciani. He is a mentor to young musicians Jason Moran and Eric Harland, giving them a platform of freedom upon which to discover themselves. Musicians Jack DeJohnette, Jim Keltner, John Densmore, Robbie Robertson, Don Was, Jason Moran, Ornette Coleman, Zakir Hussain, Geri Allen, writer Stanley Crouch, painter Arthur Monroe, producers Manfred Eicher and Michael Cuscuna and others reveals to us Lloyd “the band leader,” Lloyd “the rebel” and Lloyd “the tender warrior.” But it is through Charles Lloyd's own poignant words and music that a poetic thread is created weaving together the unique aspects of his life.

2013, Dorothy Darr and Jeffrey Morse, USA, 114 minutes.

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