Billy Higgins has long been one of my favorite drummers. His light touch and sympathetic ear make him a great accompanist, gently prodding his bandmates to new places without stealing the spotlight. Just a few months after Billy’s death in 2001, Charles Lloyd released Hyperion with Higgins, a set recorded in 1999 with Billy, John Abercrombie, Brad Mehldau and Larry Grenadier.
“Bharati” features the relaxed, lilting phrases and fluttering runs that are trademark Charles Lloyd. As is usual with Charles’ tunes, it’s hard to tell how much of the theme is written and how much is improvised. I tried to stay true to his rhythmic motives but the melody should be interpreted loosely.