Monday Recommendation: Jarrett And Haden

Keith Jarrett, Charlie Haden, Last Dance (ECM)

51y7m6qdUxL._SL500_AA280_Following Haden’s death last Friday, this duet recording of the bassist with his former boss takes on poignancy even beyond the empathy that he and the pianist develop in nine standard songs. The exceptions to ballad tempos are a brisk bop excursion through Bud Powell’s “Dance of the Infidels,” and “Everything Happens to Me” at the pace of a leisurely walk. The session also produced Jasmine, released in 2010. It took place shortly before Haden’s post-polio syndrome left him frequently unable to play. As usual, Haden invests his tone and his note choices with emotion that elevates his work. Jarrett rarely records in a duo format. The final track alone, “Goodbye,” with its compelling Haden bass lines and lovely solo, is reason for gratitude that Jarrett made an exception for his old friend.

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  1. Dr. Mike Baughan says

    Thanks so much Doug. Mr. Haden was a fine human being it seems. I got to meet him post-concert in Richmond, VA. He was on his Liberation Orchestra Tour. Right there with him, in equal humility, was his beloved wife Ruth Cameron. Sitting on a couch & making all feel at ease. A charming moment.

    IMHO, aside from the historic beautiful duos with Hank Jones, Rubalcaba, Metheny, and Jarrett above, I feel that another beautiful album that often gets overlooked was his 1996 CD with Kenny Barron Night And The City. Didn’t Rifftides have it on its list of recommendations before? Another thing of beauty from Mr. Haden. Rest in Peace, beyond that Missouri Sky.

  2. Wayne Tucker says

    I agree with Dr. Baughan about “Night and The City” being underrated. Along with all the Quartet West albums, I listen to that one several times a year. He and Kenny Barron are a perfect duo. “Jasmine” was another favorite, and I’m going to pick up “Last Dance” soon. Like all our jazz masters who have passed, Charlie Haden will be sorely missed and always remembered for his beautiful music and his clear love for it.

  3. Pete Brown says

    When my wife’s beloved grandmother died, she ordered that Steal Away, the fine Hank Jones-Charlie Haden duet set, be played at the begining and conclusion of her formal service. Once they got over the initial surprise (we’re not talking jazz fans here), folks became quite visibly moved.

  4. elroy denton says

    I got to know and play jazz with Charlie in 1956-57 when we were students at the Westlake College of Jazz in LA. Les Mccann (then known as “Maxie” or “Redtop” ) also was there as a student on the GI Bill, and we all lived in a converted house/dorm behind the school on Sunset Blvd. Charlie was about 19 then and already possessed of a good sound and solid technique. I remember giving him a ride one afternoon up to Red Mitchell’s house for a bass lesson. We all used to go to a bar somewhere on Central Ave, I think, and jam. It was stunning and somewhat disconcerting to see the rapid and sure development of Charlie and Les in the little less than a year I was there with them. They were beautiful cats to be around and of all of us at the school at that time they were surely the two who were marked to find success as musicians. As for me, I went back to college and became a teacher. “Those who can, do: those who can’t, teach.”