Last Dance Keith Jarrett & Charlie Haden
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- 1My Old Flame10:19
- 2My Ship09:37
- 3Round Midnight09:34
- 4Dance of the Infidels04:23
- 5It Might as Well Be Spring11:55
- 6Everything Happens to Me07:13
- 7Where Can I Go Without You09:33
- 8Every Time We Say Goodbye04:25
Info for Last Dance
Last Dance features more music from the highly creative session at Keith Jarrett’s home studio which brought forth the much-loved Jasmine album. In this new selection Jarrett and Charlie Haden broaden the scope of the project to include jazz classics like Thelonious Monk’s “Round Midnight” and Bud Powell’s spritely “Dance Of The Infidels”, dazzlingly interpreted by the duo. Love songs are still to the fore, with tender versions of “My Old Flame”, “My Ship”, “It Might As Well Be Spring”, “Everything Happens To Me”, and “Every Time We Say Goodbye” as well as alternate takes of “Where Can I Go Without You” and “Goodbye”, every bit as touching as the Jasmine renditions. “When we play together it’s like two people singing”, said Jarrett of this reunion with Haden. The intentions of the song are honoured, the shades of meaning in a melody or a lyric explored instrumentally. As Charlie Haden put it, “Keith really listens, and I listen. That’s the secret. It’s about listening.”
Keith Jarrett, piano
Charlie Haden, upright bass
Recorded March 2007 at Cavelight Studio, New Jersey
Engineered by Martin Pearson
Mastering at MSM Studios, Munich by Manfred Eicher and Christoph Stickel
Executive Producer: Keith Jarrett, Manfred Eicher
At the end of 2008, Keith Jarrett added two concerts to his schedule at short notice – one at Paris’s Salle Pleyel (November 26), one at London’s Royal Festival Hall (December 1) . The music on “Testament” is from these concerts. Their range is compendious, Jarrett’s improvisational imagination continually uncovering new forms, in a music stirred by powerful emotions. In his liner notes, the pianist is forthright about the personal circumstances promoting a need to lose himself in the work once more.
He also reminds the reader/listener that “it is not natural to sit at a piano, bring no material, clear your mind completely of musical ideas and play something that is of lasting value and brand new.” This, however, has been the history and substance of the solo concerts since Jarrett initiated them, almost forty years ago . Over time their connection to ‘jazz’ has often become tenuous, yet Jarrett’s solo concerts, with the foregrounding of melody and the continual building, and relinquishing, of structure, are also removed from “free improvisation” as a genre. Jarrett’s solo work is effectively its own idiom, and has been subject to periodic revisions by the pianist. “In the early part of this decade, I tried to bring the format back: starting from nothing and building a universe.”
Since the “Radiance” album and the “Tokyo Solo” DVD of 2002 Jarrett has been adjusting the flow of the work, more often working with shorter blocks of material. “I continued to find a wealth of music inside this open format, stopping whenever the music told me to.” This approach distinguished “The Carnegie Hall Concert” (2006), and it is most effectively deployed in “Testament” , where the strongly-contrasting elements of the sections of the Paris concert in particular have the logic of a spontaneously-composed suite. The nerves-bared London performance (the first UK solo show in 18 years) is different again: “The concert went on and, though the beginning was a dark, searching, multi-tonal melodic triumph, by the end it somehow became a throbbing, never-to-be-repeated pulsing rock band of a concert (unless it was a church service, in which case, Hallelujah!).”
In the end, the improviser does what must be done. As Keith Jarrett said, a long time ago, “If you’re a rock climber, once you’re halfway up the face of the cliff, you have to keep moving, you have to keep going somewhere. And that’s what I do, I find a way.”
These days, however, Jarrett is rationing the number of ascents: there have been less than thirty solo concerts in the last decade, making “Testament” a special event indeed. Two further solo performances are scheduled for 2009 – at the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels on October 9, and at Berlin’s Philharmonie on October 12.