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Keith Jarrett/Charlie Haden: Jasmine [Slipcase]

Audio Samples

>For All We Know
>Where Can I Go Without You
>No Moon at All
>One Day I'll Fly Away
>Intro/I'm Gonna Laugh You Right Out of My Life
>Body and Soul
>Goodbye
>Don't Ever Leave Me

Track List

>For All We Know
>Where Can I Go Without You
>No Moon at All
>One Day I'll Fly Away
>Intro/I'm Gonna Laugh You Right Out of My Life
>Body and Soul
>Goodbye
>Don't Ever Leave Me

Album Remarks & Appraisals:

"It also has distinctly low-lights feel (Jarrett rarely accelerates beyond a wistful ripple, as Haden gravely marks out the defining notes of the slow-changing chords), but its inner energies glow on closer listening." -The Guardian

"'Jasmine' is such an intimate, subtle record that much of what the two musicians are doing can easily pass without notice, like a whisper in a crowded room. With the exception of a jauntily (but gently) swinging take on Redd Evans and David Mann's "No Moon at All", "Jasmine" stays in a contemplative, nocturnal mood. Peggy Lee's "Where Can I Go Without You" features Haden on a lilting yet melancholy solo punctuated by Jarrett, and the classic "Body & Soul" gets taken for a ride by Jarrett's cascading piano, with Haden following stride for stride." -LA Times

"It's an intimate, home-studio recording of love songs - deep, almost painfully heartfelt - and so good it will be sure to top most best-of lists. There's no tricksiness, just the woody thump of Haden's bass adding authority to Jarrett's tender, faithful chording. "For All We Know" is a Desert Island Discs cert; "Body & Soul" is done almost jauntily; the closing "Don't Ever Leave Me" a bitter sweet miracle. If you buy only one album this year, etc." -The Independent

"As close to a direct pipeline to the heart as anything, it's hard for music to be anything but intimate reflection of events transpiring in a musician's life. Pianist Keith Jarrett's last release - the stunning triple-disc Testament - Paris / London (ECM, 2009) - was, self-admittedly, impacted by the pianist's "incredibly vulnerable emotional state," but resulted in some of his deepest, most moving solo improvisations yet. Recorded in 2007, the year before the shows from which Testament was culled, the song choices on Jasmine - Jarrett's first non-solo/non-Standards Trio disc in 30 years - speak to the pianist's tenuous marital situation of the past several years. And yet, this collection of intimate, yearning love songs - recorded at Jarrett's home in an informal setting not unlike The Melody At Night, With You (ECM, 1999) - possesses a bittersweet mix of melancholy and joy, suggesting the inherently healing power of music.

Participating in Reto Caduff's 2009 film about Charlie Haden (Rambling Boy) brought Jarrett together with the bassist for the first time since the dissolution of the pianist's much-heralded American Quartet. The two played for well over a decade - from Jarrett's debut as a leader, Life Between the Exit Signs (Atlantic, 1967), through to the American Quartet's swan song, Survivor's Suite (ECM, 1979). Reuniting in 2007 for the filming of Rambling Boy, their relaxed rapport encouraged Jarrett to invited Haden to his home, and the result is this elegant collection of well-heeled standards, including "Body and Soul," "For All We Know" and "Where Can I Go Without You."

Over the course of three decades, much has changed, but some things have remained. Both players have largely become interpreters rather than composers, although Jarrett has rightfully argued that interpretation is composition. Still, their empathic approach to this ballad-heavy set - only the swinging Evans/Mann chestnut, "No Moon At All," comes close to breaking a sweat - remains as profound as it was when they were collaborating regularly on original (and more left-of-center) music.

With no rehearsal other than, at most, running through a few changes, Jasmine's sound - like The Melody At Night - is more direct, more immediate than most of Jarrett's recent releases, recorded in larger concert halls. The dryness of the sound makes the warm but slightly funky tone of Jarrett's piano and deeply wooden timbre of Haden's bass feel particularly inviting. Recorded in Jarrett's small home studio, it feels like it was recorded in a living room, with both players at ease, turning a group of nine well-loved, well-known songs into informal conversations, where individual spotlights shine occasionally, but are far more often about gentle give-and-take, lyrical spontaneity and nothing-to-prove economy.

Critics of Jarrett' longstanding allegiance to solo and Standards Trio performances may be disappointed by this perhaps overdue foray outside those contexts, given the choice of material and renewal of a relationship that predates them. But they'd be missing the sublime beauty, elegant serenity and evocative resonance of Jasmine - an album that, like The Melody At Night, rests somewhere outside Jarrett's discography, yet simply couldn't have been made by anyone else." - AllAboutJazz

Jarrett and Haden back together again! Thirty three years after the break-up of Keith Jarrett's great 'American quartet', the pianist and bassist Charlie Haden reunited for an album of standards, played with deep feeling. The programme 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" and more. Intimate, spontaneous and warm, the album, recorded at Jarrett's home, has affinities, in its unaffected directness, with Keith's "The Melody At Night With You". 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."

"As close to a direct pipeline to the heart as anything, it's hard for music to be anything but intimate reflection of events transpiring in a musician's life. Pianist Keith Jarrett's last release - the stunning triple-disc Testament - Paris / London (ECM, 2009) - was, self-admittedly, impacted by the pianist's "incredibly vulnerable emotional state," but resulted in some of his deepest, most moving solo improvisations yet. Recorded in 2007, the year before the shows from which Testament was culled, the song choices on Jasmine - Jarrett's first non-solo/non-Standards Trio disc in 30 years - speak to the pianist's tenuous marital situation of the past several years. And yet, this collection of intimate, yearning love songs - recorded at Jarrett's home in an informal setting not unlike The Melody At Night, With You (ECM, 1999) - possesses a bittersweet mix of melancholy and joy, suggesting the inherently healing power of music.

Participating in Reto Caduff's 2009 film about Charlie Haden (Rambling Boy) brought Jarrett together with the bassist for the first time since the dissolution of the pianist's much-heralded American Quartet. The two played for well over a decade - from Jarrett's debut as a leader, Life Between the Exit Signs (Atlantic, 1967), through to the American Quartet's swan song, Survivor's Suite (ECM, 1979). Reuniting in 2007 for the filming of Rambling Boy, their relaxed rapport encouraged Jarrett to invited Haden to his home, and the result is this elegant collection of well-heeled standards, including "Body and Soul," "For All We Know" and "Where Can I Go Without You."

Over the course of three decades, much has changed, but some things have remained. Both players have largely become interpreters rather than composers, although Jarrett has rightfully argued that interpretationis composition. Still, their empathic approach to this ballad-heavy set - only the swinging Evans/Mann chestnut, "No Moon At All," comes close to breaking a sweat - remains as profound as it was when they were collaborating regularly on original (and more left-of-center) music.

With no rehearsal other than, at most, running through a few changes, Jasmine's sound - like The Melody At Night - is more direct, more immediate than most of Jarrett's recent releases, recorded in larger concert halls. The dryness of the sound makes the warm but slightly funky tone of Jarrett's piano and deeply wooden timbre of Haden's bass feel particularly inviting. Recorded in Jarrett's small home studio, it feels like it was recorded in a living room, with both players at ease, turning a group of nine well-loved, well-known songs into informal conversations, where individual spotlights shine occasionally, but are far more often about gentle give-and-take, lyrical spontaneity and nothing-to-prove economy.

Critics of Jarrett' longstanding allegiance to solo and Standards Trio performances may be disappointed by this perhaps overdue foray outside those contexts, given the choice of material and renewal of a relationship that predates them. But they'd be missing the sublime beauty, elegant serenity and evocative resonance of Jasmine - an album that, like The Melody At Night, rests somewhere outside Jarrett's discography, yet simply couldn't have been made by anyone else." -AllAboutJazz

Album Reviews:

Entertainment Weekly (p.76) - "The disc has the intimate feels of a private concert, so it's almost as if you're eavesdropping on old friends having a conversation..." -- Grade: A

JazzTimes (p.64) - "[A] ravishing and reflective musical encounter with two of jazz's greatest instrumentalists, who are getting along famously again."

Uncut (magazine) (p.82) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "'Body And Soul' is radically reinvented, with a pleasingly Bach-like complexity."

Album Notes

Personnel: Keith Jarrett (piano); Charlie Haden (double bass).

Liner Note Author: Keith Jarrett.

Recording information: Cavelight Studio (03/2007).

Photographer: Rose Anne Jarrett.

The reason to mention the "particulars" of this document of informal sessions is because Keith Jarrett went to the trouble of doing so in his liner notes: they came about in the aftermath of he and Charlie Haden playing together during Ramblin' Boy, a documentary film about Haden. The duo, who hadn't played together in over 30 years, got along famously and decided to do some further recording in Jarrett's Cavelight home studio without an end result in mind. The tapes sat -- though were discussed often -- for three years before a decision was made to release some of them. Jasmine is a collection of love songs; most are standards played by two stellar improvisers. Picking out highlights on this eight-song, hour-long set is difficult because the dry warmth of these performances is multiplied by deeply intuitive listening and the near symbiotic, telepathic nature of the playing. The entire proceeding flows seamlessly. The depth of emotion in Peggy Lee's and Victor Young's "Where Can I Go Without You" opens the world of the bereft lover -- and Haden's solo seems to make her/him speak. Jarrett's intro to "I'm Gonna Laugh You Right Out of My Life," by Cy Coleman and Joseph McCarthy, reveals in its lyric just how woefully ironic this tune is. The loss and reverie steeped in false bravado are expressed in Jarrett's arpeggios and underscored by Haden's emphasis on single notes during the changes and a deep woody tone he gets in the combination of skeletal flourishes during Jarrett's solo. On the surface it might seem that the inclusion of Joe Sample's "One Day I'll Fly Away" is an odd inclusion; yet it acts on some level as the hinge piece for the set. Its simplicity and sparseness are offset by the profound lyricism Jarrett imbues it with. Haden asserts, quietly of course, that the complex emotions in the tune go beyond any language -- other than music's -- to express. After a devastatingly sad reading Gordon Jenkins' "Goodbye" with Jarrett at his most poignant and clean, a brief reading of Jerome Kern's and Oscar Hammerstein's "Don't Ever Leave Me" closes the set. The way it's played, this tune is not a plea, but a poetically uttered assertion between lovers. Jasmine is, ultimately, jazz distilled to its most essential; it not only expresses emotion and beauty, but discovers them in every moment of its performance. ~ Thom Jurek



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