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Album Review

In 2007, legendary jazz bassist Charlie Haden celebrated his 70th birthday — and about 50 years since he first began playing with his best-known collaborator, Ornette Coleman — with this low-key, intimate dual date with Italian guitarist and composer Antonio Forcione. Though Forcione has been hailed as "the Jimi Hendrix of the acoustic guitar" and has been favorably compared to the brilliantly versatile Tommy Emmanuel, his work here is for the most part more thoughtful, reflective and subdued; not to say it's not inspired, simply not designed to overwhelm. His opening compositions "Anna" and "If..." are sweet, soulful, and gracefully romantic, with Haden providing sensual accompaniment. Haden's three compositions range from the more rhythmic and lively "La Pasionaria" (on which the bassist all but dares Forcione to keep up via an increasingly inventive, swaying melody) to the moody "Silence" and the haunting, experimental "For Turiya," which features lengthy bass soloing that runs from subtle to thunderous. The lone outside tune is Fred Hersch's wistful "Child's Play," on which the tandem play an interesting, point-counterpoint melody-rhythm line. While well played and intricately performed, this type of date, focused more on craft than any sustainable energy, is best enjoyed by die-hard fans of the two artists.


Born: 06 August 1937 in Shenandoah, IA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

As a member of saxophonist Ornette Coleman's early bands, bassist Charlie Haden became known as one of free jazz's founding fathers. Haden has never settled into any of jazz's many stylistic niches, however. Certainly he's played his share of dissonant music — in the '60 and '70s, as a sideman with Coleman and Keith Jarrett, and as a leader of the Liberation Music Orchestra, for instance — but for the most part, he seems drawn to consonance. Witness his trio with saxophonist Jan Garbarek...
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Heartplay, Charlie Haden
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