Tonight was another blast from the past at the Montreux Casino. Charles Lloyd had been in the exact same spot 49 years ago. “Montreux was still only a village and I was still only a boy” were Charles’ words as he stepped on stage with musicians who hadn’t even been born then.
“We love you!” was yelled from the crowd, just before the saxophone’s first delicate but strong notes filled the heart of the casino. At the back of the room, a fiftyish man pretended to play the double bass as he tapped away on a drum with his foot. The groove was definitely contagious. Charles swayed to the beat pulsing through his body, and played with sound by moving his saxophone closer or further away from the microphone.
His musicians enjoyed themselves attempting to surprise their tutor, who sometimes stopped and hid in the darkness to admire them. He danced, sung a few ‘yeah’ and ‘alright’, and slowly approached his pianist like a passer-by sneaking a glance at a street artist. Then the special note that only he understands was heard. The one everyone was waiting for without knowing it. Was it a third? Was it a seventh? All people knew was that it was the note. The crowd did not fail the artist by rewarding him with not one, but two standing ovations. Amazing!
Montreux Jazz Chronicle