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Jazz saxophonist Charles Lloyd on his lifelong intoxication with music

For the latest installment in our music series, the NewsHour’s Frank Carlson caught up with jazz saxophonist Charles Lloyd. Lloyd reflects on his lifelong love of music, his childhood in the musical haven of Memphis and why he believes jazz is the genre of “freedom and wonder.”

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    Finally tonight, another in our music series.

    Jazz musician Charles Lloyd plays the tenor saxophone, and he recently caught up with "NewsHour" producer Frank Carlson.


    In my mind's ear, I have always heard a beautiful sound. And I keep, all my life, practicing and playing, trying to get close to it.

    And, sometimes, the creator will let me get just so close, but it's like the carrot-on-the-stick phase, you know, not yet, Charles.

    I'm Charles Lloyd. I have been drunk with music all my life. I was born in Memphis, and I heard this beautiful music. I would walk down the street in my neighborhood, and coming out of every house, I could hear Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Count Basie, you know, Charlie Parker, on and on.

    So, the music is fueling the atmosphere. Why jazz? It's the music of wonder, freedom and wonder. And played by the great players, the individual truth, the personal truth becomes the universal truth.

    What I have been doing all my life is making a parallel between the beauties of the eternal verities that come through the music and spiritual life.

    I think what we do is that we come through here, we sing our song, nobody knows us, and we're gone. But in the music, I can get up there and find this paradise that I'm trying to describe.

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