2014 archive release, a previously-unreleased recording of a stunning duo performance by these two recently departed masters at the 1990 Montreal International Jazz Festival.
At first this might seem an unusual pairing - the dean of the avant-garde bass and a fellow that defined mainstream jazz guitar - but Charlie Haden and Jim Hall shared much common ground.
Besides the decades of jazz history they each walked on stage with on July 2, 1990, they also both proved themselves to be masters of the Art of the Duo over the course of their illustrious careers.
Together Haden and Hall bring thundering intimacy and gentle envelope-pushing on this profound series of duos. Haden and Hall had something else in common as well, an earthiness that grounded whatever they’re doing, something that gives a listener something to hold onto.
reviewed by Nate Chinen NYT
For the time being, it’s impossible to take in “Charlie Haden-Jim Hall” without a twinge of sadness. The album, out on Impulse! this week, is a memento of collaboration between the guitarist Jim Hall and the bassist Charlie Haden, profound musicians whose departures knocked the jazz world back on its heels.(Mr. Hall died last December, at 83; Mr. Haden was 76 when he died in July.)
But the music, recorded in concert at the 1990 Montreal International Jazz Festival, could hardly feel more alive. This is the earliest known duologue between two masters of the form, and the delight behind the interplay is obvious.
Their ballad work — on the standards “Skylark” and “Body and Soul,” and Mr. Haden’s “First Song” — is extraordinary even by their high standards. Just as rewarding are pieces by Ornette Coleman (“Turnaround”) and Thelonious Monk (“Bemsha Swing”), and a calypsoesque theme by Mr. Hall (“Down From Antigua”). At every turn, you hear the unpretentious wisdom and honest intuition in these artists’ styles, along with their sheer alertness to the moment.
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