Bassist Charlie Haden has been down this path—a quiet, intimate, album-length session with a musically simpatico partner—in recent years, notably on Americana-tinged outings with late pianist Hank Jones and guitarist Pat Metheny. The format is similarly engaging on this reflective, brightly communicative set with long-ago bandmate Keith Jarrett, who seldom strays from his Standards Trio and solo-piano gigs.
What are the ties that bind the two (last together for a 2007 documentary on Haden)? For starters, there’s a poignant, searching quality to their phrase making. Then there’s the not-small matter of a willingness to directly respond to each other’s playing, rather than playing at each other, as is too often the case when star musicians collaborate. The low-pressure setting—Jarrett’s home studio in New Jersey—doubtless abetted that high-level connectedness.