Jazz’s ‘Sound Seeker’ Finds Ancient Strings From Hungary And Greece (via NPR)

Jazz musician and composer Charles Lloyd has what you might call an “eclectic” resume.

The saxophonist has played with hundreds of jazz musicians — but also B.B. King, the Beach Boys, tabla master Zakir Hussain.

Tonight, Charles Lloyd will be inducted as a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master. He’s being honored, in part, for fusing jazz with musical styles from other places and times.

You can hear that on his new album, Wild Man Dance, which features two ancient instruments from Europe.

“I decided that I wanted to have strings,” Lloyd says. “But I wanted to have the strings of a cimbalom and the lyra.”

The cimbalom is a kind of dulcimer, but huge. Its strings stretch over a big wooden box, and are hit with long padded hammers. On the album, it’s played by Miklós Lukács.

“I heard this many years ago when I played a festival in Hungary,” Lloyd says. “It was being played at my hotel after the concert by a gypsy orchestra, and I just loved its sonority so much.”

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