Featuring Bill Frisell, Greg Leisz, Eric Harland & Reuben Rogers. Steeped in the sounds of the Deep South, Lucinda Williams and Charles Lloyd are pillars of American music. Raised in Memphis, Lloyd has long expressed his hometown’s musical heritage through the soul and might of jazz. A masterful saxophonist and flutist with a riverine sense of melody, Lloyd has added rock and soul to jazz landmarks and lent his improvisational gusto to rock legends.
Likewise, Williams, a Louisiana native, mixed country, rock, and folk long before it was fashionable. As a songwriter, she is as poetically incisive as she is ruthlessly honest. As a singer, she is the ultimate emotional conduit, capable of mixing romance and rage in a single song. Respectively in their eighties and sixties, Lloyd and Williams — longtime mutual collaborators with modern guitar master Bill Frisell — are now doing some of their most powerful work. In 2017, they joined up for a powerhouse cover of Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War,” turning the American standard into marching orders. On the wonderful new Vanished Gardens, released in 2018 by Blue Note Records, Williams and Lloyd front Lloyd’s band The Marvels — Frisell, pedal steel master Greg Leisz, and the wondrous rhythm section of Reuben Rogers and Eric Harland. They bring this lineup to Duke Performances for a concert that draws on jazz, rock, and soul, reinvigorating the American Songbook.