Album Remarks & Appraisals:
"While the covers are taken primarily from sacred compositions, the tunes transcend both religious and secular boundaries and can be appreciated on many levels. From the duo's unobtrusive interpretations to the way in which the Jones and Haden communicate, the melodies contain a quiet magic whose crowning jewel is found in the beloved title track, written by the great Duke Ellington. It is an apropos sentiment to this moving release." -All About Jazz
"On Come Sunday, it looms large; the studio room itself becomes an equal participant in these sessions -- it reflects back everything, from the sounds of piano pedals and fingers on keys to bass strings being pulled and plucked. This is a huge plus; that spaciousness allows the listener to get front-pew close and hear the natural warmth in the playing. In terms of the material there are stark differences, too." - CD Universe
" The first track of Come Sunday, "Take My Hand Precious Lord," features a melody from Haden on bass with the warm and delicate style Haden is known for. Jones has his time in the spotlight with a melody that wraps all your sorrows up, and blows them away, leaving you feeling calm and happy. His melodic style is one that encompasses the harmonies, counter melodies, and still allows the melody to come through." - Live Music Guide
""Come Sunday" is a subtle album, sleepy in spots, but also quietly commanding; the only missteps, and some will argue the point, are a pair of Christmas songs that seem oddly out of place. But even on those tracks, Haden and Jones really listen to each other, and to the music, never saying too much when just enough will do." - Courier Journal
"I've read a handful of press releases and advance reviews of Come Sunday, the new collaboration from Charlie Haden and Hank Jones, and I've seen the material selected for this project described in several different ways. These are songs of power, we are told, and songs of freedom; they are folk songs, and American songs. I can't disagree with any of this, yet I also can't help but be a bit baffled that anyone could miss the more obvious point, which is that these are religious songs. They are sacred songs. They are Christian songs. Even the album's title points to the Lord's Day as an event, one to be awaited with hopeful anticipation." - The Hurst Review
"Come Sunday, is actually a more casual affair than its predecessor, suggesting two elders playing old favorites for friends, coasting on the melodies rather than opening them up to make deeper statements. With his impeccable touch, Jones could make polishing an apple meaningful." - Jazzespress
"Come Sunday, a recital of spirituals and hymns as interpreted by the duo of bassist Charlie Haden and the pianist Hank Jones, is as unadorned and as poignant as its similarly-themed predecessor from 1995, Steal Away -- both albums labors of love, where the obvious love fairly obliterates any trace of overt labor. "Come Sunday" announces its intentions quietly; gospel fervor is replaced by subdued tones of understated musical communion. Virtuosic grandstanding has as little place here as ornament would have on a Shaker table." - Barnes and Noble
Personnel: Hank Jones (piano).
Audio Mixer: Jay Newland.
Liner Note Author: Maurice Jackson.
Recording information: Sear Sound Studio, New York, NY (02/02/2010-02/03/2010).
Photographers: Cheung Ching Ming; Ruth Cameron.
Nearly 16 years after issuing Steal Away, bassist Charlie Haden and pianist Hank Jones recorded a second set of spiritual folk songs, cut in 2010, only three months before Jones' passing. Many jazz records have explored spiritual folk music -- Grant Green's beautiful Feelin' the Spirit from 1962 and Cyrus Chestnut's 2006 Spirit are but two bookend examples. Haden and Jones weren't concerned with harmonic and improvisational concepts here. The two jazz musicians also had solid church backgrounds, and were participants in the civil rights struggles of the last century. These sacred folk songs hold shared meaning as well as individual ones that reflect the different sides of the church aisle. With the possible exception of their gorgeous delivery of Antonin Dvorák's "Goin' Home," which has become a jazz and blues standard, all of these songs have been sung in churches for centuries. There are contrasts between Come Sunday and its predecessor. A large one is technological: digital recording has been vastly improved upon since the 1990s. On Steal Away some of the warmth afforded a duo like this naturally was blunted because any sense of real depth was virtually unable to be captured on tape, reducing the sense of intimacy. On Come Sunday, it looms large; the studio room itself becomes an equal participant in these sessions -- it reflects back everything, from the sounds of piano pedals and fingers on keys to bass strings being pulled and plucked. This is a huge plus; that spaciousness allows the listener to get front-pew close and hear the natural warmth in the playing. In terms of the material there are stark differences, too. Steal Away contained primarily hymns, but there were also other folk songs, from "Danny Boy" to "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child." On Come Sunday, the music is purely sacred. It is reverent and restrained (overly in some places, more so than its predecessor). Steal Away swung -- albeit quietly -- throughout. That quality shows up here, but far less so; the readings of these tunes are more literal. On numbers such as "Down by the Riverside," "Deep River," and "Give Me That Old Time Religion," Jones makes room for jazz to enter full front and center, while never straying far from the melody; he lets the blues into the picture, Thomas A. Dorsey style, with pronounced left-hand work in the lower registers. Haden has always been as much a melodist as a timekeeper, something Ornette Coleman understood from the jump, which is why he chose the bassist early on. That quality is showcased on the "Take My Hand Precious Lord," "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen," and "Going Home," where he leads the way. When he's following Jones' lead, he walks and bumps in tandem, adding a sense of swing. Ultimately, Come Sunday might have fared a little better by replacing the carols with more hymns, because the former are so staid. But that's a small complaint. At its best, Come Sunday is lovely, elegant, and even stirring. ~ Thom Jurek
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