Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Charles Lloyd began playing the saxophone when he was nine years old. Surrounded by a wealth of musical sources such as the blues, gospel and jazz, as a teenager he played with musicians like Johnny Ace, Howlin' Wolf and B.B. King. In Los Angeles he sought out West Coast musicians like Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, Charlie Haden and Eric Dolphy, whom he was to replace in 1960 as musical leader of Chico Hamilton's band. This was his breakthrough. In 1964 he was invited to join the Cannonball Adderley Sextet and he played with Nat Adderley and Joe Zawinul. Not long afterwards he achieved his greatest success with his own quartet (Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette and Cecil McBee). The composition Forest Flower was an unexpected hit. The quartet performed at rock venues side by side with legends like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Cream and Jefferson Airplane. Suddenly, the successful saxophonist fell silent; Lloyd retreated from the public eye and devoted himself to meditation. This lasted until the eighties when a young pianist, Michel Petrucciani, convinced him to take to the stage again. New albums followed as well as new tours. Lloyd has since been active again for many years, dedicated to making music and recording marvelous CDs for the jazz label ECM.