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Music Review

Keith Jarrett Charlie Haden Last Dance

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Label: ECM

Year: 2014

Duration: 76 minutes

1 of 1 Last Dance: imaginative, ruminative spins on the classics
Last Dance: imaginative, ruminative spins on the classics

American veterans, bassist Charlie Haden and pianist Keith Jarrett recorded this album seven years ago, but it was only released in June.

As you might expect, we are all the better for its imaginative, ruminative spins on the classics, including, the Johnston/Coslow tune My Old Flame, Everything Happens to Me (Adair/Dennis), Rodgers and Hammerstein’s It Might As Well Be Spring, Theolonious Monk’s Round Midnight and Cole Porter's Every Time We Say Goodbye.

Such duet-work involves knowing when to go quiet and let the other man go ahead. “Keith really listens, and I listen, “ Charlie has commented.“That’s the secret. It’s about listening.”

For afficianados, suffice to say that two of the nine tracks, versions of Gordon Jenkins’ Goodbye, along with Victor Young and Peggy Lee’s Where Can I Go Without You are alternate takes of tunes previously released on Jasmine, which was released in 2010. When these two albums were recorded at Jarrett's home, the two musicians had not recorded together in over three decades.

“When we play together it’s like two people singing”, said Jarrett of his reunion with Haden. Weill/Gershwin’s My Ship has profoundly bittersweet subtleties, while Dance of the Infidel races along like a mad thing. A version of Gordon Jenkins' Goodbye is wistful yet stately and baroque too, oddly resembling two jazzers improvising on yet another Nick Drake tune. Come to think of it, they could have done a nice Northern Sky, but it's too late now, in light of Charlie's sad passing.

Paddy Kehoe

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