Duets


“Before music there was silence and the duet format allows you to build from the silence in a very special way.” – Charlie Haden

2000s


With Keith Jarrett
Jasmine (ECM/2010)

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Jasmine marks Keith Jarrett’s first recorded collaboration in decades other than with his standards trio, and reunites him with the great bassist Charlie Haden, a close partner until the mid-seventies. These deeply felt performances should inspire any listener “to call your wife or husband or lover in late at night,” as Jarrett says in his liner notes, “These are great love songs played by players who are trying, mostly, to keep the message intact.” The program on Jasmine includes such classic songs as “Body and Soul”, “For All We Know” , “Where Can I Go Without You”, “Don’t Ever Leave Me” as well as a rare Jarrett cover of a contemporary pop song, “One Day I’ll Fly Away”. Jarrett and Haden play the music and nothing but the music – as only they can. As Keith Jarrett says in his liner notes: “This is spontaneous music made on the spot without any preparation save our dedication throughout our lives that we won’t accept a substitute… These are great love songs played by players who are trying, mostly, to keep the message intact.” (Amazon.com)

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With Antonio Forcione
Heartplay (Naim/2006)

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Recorded in Naim’s very own tried, tested and spectacularly proved “True Stereo” method, legendary bass player Charlie Haden and guitar virtuoso Antonio Forcione play a combination of compositions by each other, and a beautifully sparkling track called “Child’s Play” by Fred Hersch. These elegant and eloquent duets are totally atmospheric and an absolute joy to listen to. (Amazon.com)


With John Taylor
Nightfall (Naim/2004)

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Two of the greatest living jazz players unite in a blissful yet forward thinking encounter. Haden exchanges musically with a choice pianist, whose four decades worth of critical acclaim make him one of the best British jazz exports alive today.



With Egberto Gismonti
In Montreal (ECM/2001)

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Bassist Charlie Haden has done a tremendous amount of playing in duo contexts. This live recording with the remarkable pianist/guitarist Egberto Gismonti is a fine addition to his duo resumé. Recorded at The Montreal Jazz Festival in 1989 and released over a decade later, the album mostly features noted works by Gismonti, although two of Haden’s pieces also appear. Gismonti plays guitar rather than piano on Haden’s “First Song,” making for an interesting comparison with the version that graced Beyond the Missouri Sky, Haden’s 1997 duet record with Pat Metheny. Similarly, Gismonti’s off-kilter piano solo on Haden’s “Silence” contrasts richly with what Keith Jarrett played on the same tune (on 1977′s Bop-Be). Gismonti’s nylon-string stylings do recall Metheny to some degree, as well as ECM labelmate Ralph Towner, although his ten-string instrument sets his playing apart, particularly on the driving “Em Família.” On piano, he’s at his most virtuosic on “Lôro” and “Frevo.” (AllMusic.com)

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1990s


With Chris Anderson
None But The Lonely Heart (Naim/1998)

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When Naim asked Charlie Haden who would be at the top of his list to make a duo recording with, he replied instantly, without a hint of doubt; Chris Anderson. The rest, as they say, was history.


With Pat Metheny
Beyond The Missouri Sky (Verve/1997) *Grammy Winner

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This subtle, sublime collaboration finds bassist Charlie Haden and guitarist Pat Metheny crafting bejeweled chamber duets that transcend genre. With their shared Missouri lineage as a thematic touchstone, Haden and Metheny forge a lyrical, mostly acoustic style at once intimate and expansive. Both pare their playing to a Zen-like economy, focusing on a purity of tone, clarity of harmony, and counterpoint to achieve a tender lyricism. (Amazon.com)

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With Kenny Barron
Night and the City (Verve/1997)

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Except for applause at the end of a couple of tunes and a single quiet cough, you might not be aware you’re listening to a club recording, so hushed is the Iridium audience during this quietly intense 1996 musical dialogue between Kenny Barron and Charlie Haden. The ballad conversations are so intimate that it’s almost inappropriate to break them up into the constituent players, but Barron is magnificent, opting for single-note lines over Haden’s deeply resonant bass, stringing out a continuum of inventive, often double-time phrases that animate the slowest tempos. Even the chromatic fantasia that introduces the luminous “Very Thought of You” is spare. With Haden, less is more; there’s never an unnecessary note, never a superfluous phrase. His accompaniments consist of only the barest harmonic substructure and the minimal pulse, while his solos sing as unadorned melody. Each piece is given time to unfold (the seven selections last 70 minutes), and the results are quietly intense, sometimes exalted, music-making. It’s fine late-night listening, in the city or anywhere else. (Amazon.com)

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With Hank Jones
Steal Away: Spirituals, Hymns & Folk Songs (Verve/1995)

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Charlie Haden has always had a penchant for roots music, including folk songs from varied traditions in the repertoire of his Liberation Music Orchestra. It’s more than affectation; the bassist’s musical roots are in the midwest, and his career began in early childhood with his family’s country-music group. Those sources loom large in this inspired meeting with pianist Hank Jones over a program devoted largely to spirituals, with a few secular folk songs added in. The feelings communicated here arise from no simple reading of traditional material. It’s Jones’s unmatched harmonic sensitivity that often works the transformation, his close-voiced chords adding new resonance to summon the depths at which this material communicates. Haden, for his part, is as effective a soloist as he is an accompanist, spare and exacting and making full use of his huge, dark sound and powerful lower register. This is music by two masters, immersing themselves in a profound stream of American music. (Amazon.com)

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With Carlos Paredes
Dialogues (Antilles/1990)

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“This is one of my favorite albums of all time; I picked it up years ago out of curiosity and because so much of what Charlie Haden does is so excellent, and just fell in love with the simplicity, freedom and beauty of it. When he first heard Carlos Paredes, Haden says he was reminded of Ornette Coleman; this music is much more sonorous than Coleman’s, and I recommend it often to friends as a gentle introduction to the kind of jazz I like.” (Amazon.com)

1980s



With Denny Zeitlin
Time Remembers One Time Once (ECM/1981)

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Denny Zeitlin and Charlie Haden joined forces for this 1981 date at the Keystone Korner, covering a wide range of material in this exciting duo set. Haden’s “Chairman Mao” is a complex number, as Haden opens with an intense repetitious vamp before Zeitlin enters with the delicate Oriental-flavored theme, which sets up Haden’s intricate bass solo. The duo has lots of fun with Ornette Coleman’s topsy-turvy blues “Bird Food” before reverting to a lovely standard ballad, “As Long As There’s Music,” with an added emphasis on its lyricism. Zeitlin’s intriguing “Time Remembers One Time Once” starts as a waltz but its sudden turns defy prediction. Their laid-back approach to “Love for Sale” is refreshing, especially when compared to the typically up-tempo arrangements heard all too often. A medley of John Coltrane’s “Satellite” and the old warhorse “How High the Moon” (with Haden coyly interpolating Charlie Parker’s “Ornithology,” which is based upon “How High the Moon”) also works beautifully. The occasional over-modulation in this recording doesn’t detract from the outstanding performances and this CD should be essential for fans of either Denny Zeitlin and/or Charlie Haden. (AllMusic.com)

1970s


With Ornette Coleman
Soapsuds, Soapsuds (Artists House/1977)

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This recording is intense. It really shows the profound musical chemistry of theses two influential creative artists. Both Ornette and Charlie Haden are at the top of their musical powers. There is an incredible focus of all their musical ideas in this recording. (Amazon.com)

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With Don Cherry, Archie Shepp, Hampton Hawes, Ornette Coleman
Closeness Duets – The Golden Number (A&M-Horizon/1977)

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The second of two duet sets by bassist Charlie Haden is the equal of the first. Haden teams up with Don Cherry (on trumpet and flutes), tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp (for the excellent “Shepp’s Way”), pianist Hampton Hawes (jamming Ornette Coleman’s blues “Turnaround”), and Ornette, who plays trumpet this time around. In general, the music is quite intriguing and has its share of variety. (AllMusic.com)


With Alice Coltrane, Keith Jarrett, Paul Motian, Ornette Coleman
Closeness Duets (A&M-Horizon/1976)

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In 1976, bassist Charlie Haden recorded eight duets with musicians whom he admired; the results were originally released on two Horizon LPs as Closeness. In 1988, A&M reissued all of the music on a pair of CDs, titled “Closeness” Duets. For this release, Haden is teamed with pianist Keith Jarrett, plays a memorable “O.C.” with altoist Ornette Coleman, interprets a moody piece with harpist Alice Coltrane, and performs the highly political “For a Free Portugal” (which also utilizes excerpts from a record of Angolan music) with percussionist Paul Motian. Recommended. (AllMusic.com)

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With Hampton Hawes
As Long As There’s Music (Polygram/1976)

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Charlie Haden plays the bass with a beautiful, thick sound – any recording of his is a sonic treat. This duo session with Hampton Hawes contains some exquisite playing. Some of it swings, some of it shimmers. Haden’s harmonic imagination is astounding. (Amazon.com)