Keith Jarrett, Charlie Haden, Last Dance (ECM)
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.