Charlie Haden – Jim Hall

Charlie Haden - Jim Hall

Bassist Charlie Haden and guitarist Jim Hall’s 1990 Montreal International Jazz Festival concert has just come out on the revived impulse! label. They had distinguished histories as both sidemen and leaders; these experiences lead to preternatural musical communion throughout. The opening notes of Monk’s “Bemsha Swing” capture Haden’s resonant tone, soon joined by Hall’s deft touch and gentle sting. Haden’s walking bass sets a deep groove on two blues pieces, his former employer Ornette Coleman’s “Turnaround,” and Hall’s “Big Blues.” Where many guitarists overplay blues lines, Hall instead builds tension with subtlety. They stretch out with relaxed variations on “Body and Soul,” staying close to the classic melody. Hall’s “Down From Antigua” is lilting Latin. He introduces “Skylark” alone, Haden joining for delicate interplay. Haden’s closing “In the Moment” is adventurous. Planned for release before Haden’s untimely passing, this is a fitting memorial to two giants.