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12,399 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 118 of them this year alone and, so far, 118 this month (Jan. 25).

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

CD Review: Keith Jarrett & Charlie Haden - Last Dance.

Keith Jarrett (piano); Charlie Haden (bass).
(Review by Lance).
An absolute gem! There are many facets to Keith Jarrett's playing and at times he exceeds my jazz parameters which I admit isn't difficult. However, on this ECM duo set he hits the spot like a cup of black coffee on the morning after the night before. Laid back, reflective, he explores the possibilities offered by nine of the best melodies from the bible that is the Great American Song Book. A natural follow up to their previous coupling Jasmine released in 2010.
Many jazz instrumentalists have said they like to know the words as well as the chords and the melody and, although I don't recall Jarrett himself saying as much, the emotion he projects suggest that he too adopts that maxim.
My Old Flame, My Ship, 'Round Midnight, Bud Powell's Dance of the Infidels, It Might As Well Be Spring, Everything Happens To Me, Where Can I Go Without You? Every Time We Say Goodbye and Goodbye. A list to salivate over.  With the exception of Infidels where he flashes the dexterity (Bud Powell would have expected no less!), the pianist is relatively restrained, not flaunting it but treating the melody with respect before restructuring it whilst, at the same time, discovering new harmonies taking the already near perfect sequence to a new dimension.
Of course this isn't a one man show but a true meeting of equals who complement and support each other. Haden's choice of notes are sublime, blending with Jarrett's like the tonic does to the gin. The bassist sums up their musical relationship. "Keith really listens, and I listen. That's the secret. It's about listening."
Last Dance? I hope not!
Keith Jarrett & Charlie Haden - Last Dance is released on June 16. ECM 3780524.
Lance.

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