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Keth Jarrett/Charlie Haden: Jasmine (ECM)

Charlie Haden
Keith Jarrett

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.

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Originally Published

Philip Booth

Philip Booth is a longtime arts journalist and bass player based in Florida. Formerly the pop music critic for the Tampa Tribune, he has contributed to many national publications, recently including the Washington PostJazziz, and Relix. His byline also has appeared in DownBeat, Bass Player, Billboard, Variety, Spin, Rolling Stone, and several academic journals. The debut CD from his band, Acme Jazz Garage, gained airplay on about 35 radio stations across the US.