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In Montreal by Charlie Haden & Gismonti Egberto

Way back in ’89, the Montreal Jazz Festival featured a tribute to Charlie Haden, where the legendary bassist performed with many of his colleagues like Paul Motian, Don Cherry and Paul Bley. Some of these performances were released on Verve in the mid-90s, but not this-here one, a duet with guitarist/pianist/composer Egberto Gismonti (who along with Haden and saxophonist Jan Garbarek comprised the trio Magico). Haden has made a career out of making music in vastly varied contexts (duos with Pat Metheny and Kenny Barron, jamming with punk/funk politicos The Minutemen, a trio with Benny Carter and Eric Reed), and this is a fine addition to his substantial discography. Mr. Gismonti performs splendidly on both guitar and piano.

On guitar, he subtly weaves the strains of bossa nova and samba into his approach, recalling Ralph Towner somewhat, though Gismonti is a much more rhythmic player and has a less overt "classical" tone than Towner. On piano, he has the full-bodied sound and crisp lyrical quality of Bill Evans (a bit) and the Brazilian orientation is even subtler still. Haden is his usual superb self: that big FAT sound (to borrow a phrase from Stanley Clarke’s description) and the intellectual yet heartfelt probing quality shine equally. Listeners seeking a driving, swinging style of jazz should past this one by, but those who (how do the kids say) "dig" the ECM sound, the intimacy of two modern masters and/or quiet, gentle music possessed of his own dignified intensity should by all means brown-bag their lunches a couple of days this week and purchase In Montreal.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Charlie Haden & Gismonti Egberto
  • CD Title: In Montreal
  • Genre: Folk Jazz
  • Year Released: 2001
  • Record Label: ECM
  • Rating: Five Stars
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