Bassist Charlie Haden, who died a little more than a year ago, was a towering American musician and a powerful force in jazz history.
His best qualities—compassion, nuance, a love of melody, an unfailing sense of rhythm, a searching mind and a caring heart—were most clearly evident in his work in duets.
There was the last release before his death, the glorious “Last Dance,” with Keith Jarrett, drawn from the same 2007 sessions as the previous “Jasmine,” likely Haden’s last studio session. There were other duet classics, among them: “Soapsuds, Soapsuds,” with Ornette Coleman; “Steal Away,” with Hank Jones; “Night & the City,” with Kenny Barron; and “As Long As There’s Music,” with Hampton Hawes, who was among the first jazz musicians Haden connected with upon relocating to Los Angeles in the 1950s.
Now comes “Tokyo Adagio” (Impulse!/Universal Music Classics), a stunning recording that captures the magic between Haden and Rubalcaba, as recorded over several evenings in the spring of 2005 at the Blue Note Tokyo. Continue reading “Charlie Haden, Master of Duets, With A Beloved Musical Partner, Gonzalo Rubalcaba”