Jarrett, Haden, Motian: Hamburg '72 (ECM/Ode)

 |   |  1 min read

Jarrett, Haden, Motian: Life, Dance
Jarrett, Haden, Motian: Hamburg '72 (ECM/Ode)

The death this year of the great bassist/composer Charlie Haden robbed the world -- and not just the jazz world -- of one of the great artists of our time.

It would take far too long here to go into the musical diversity he embraced (from Ornette Coleman to American country music), the plethora of artists he performed with (great jazz musicians to Yoko Ono and Ringo Starr), his political position (he wrote Song for Che) and so on.

But there is no doubt his career reached a particular apotheosis in this trio with pianist Keith Jarrett and drummer Paul Motian (which became Jarrett's American Quartet with the addition of Coleman alumni Dewey Redman).

This trio came together in '66 (Jarrett had only recorded two albums for ECM at the time), this concert was for German radio in '72 recorded during the trio's first European tour and ECM founder/producer Manfred Eicher started work on mixing the tapes -- by chance -- the day after Haden's death.

Among the many interesting aspects of this session is the only recording of Song For Che by Jarrett, and his composition Piece for Ornette. This was the period where Jarrett was exploring other instruments (here he plays flute, soprano sax and percussion) and that's perhaps the least appealing aspect of this: Piece for Ornette is well intentioned but he's not the most vigorous sax player and that was certainly required for this.

There's no real bite in his tone.

Everything That Lives Laments is a bit hard to take for its frequently shapeless flute playing but the 15 minute exploration of Song For Che is very good because Jarrett brings a yearning and slightly discordant tone on sax.

So you'd conclude this is somethng of a mixed bag, but when it's good it is very good indeed, but they tend to be passages rather than complete pieces.

The late Charlie Haden was heard -- with Jarrett or in other bands -- in better contexts, and the recently released Last Dance with Jarrett (released two days after his death) is a better place to start.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

PAT METHENY INTERVIEWED (2020): Him and Ornette dancing in their heads

PAT METHENY INTERVIEWED (2020): Him and Ornette dancing in their heads

After more than a decade as the golden guitarist at ECM cracking commercially successful albums (by jazz standards), selling out concerts and winning critical acclaim, Pat Metheny was itching for... > Read more

KAMASI WASHINGTON INTERVIEWED (2016): Thinking beyond The Epic

KAMASI WASHINGTON INTERVIEWED (2016): Thinking beyond The Epic

Those music writers who heard it almost invariably put Kamasi Washington's album in their “best of the year” list for 2015, as we did. And there was a lot of the album –... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Hawklords: 25 Years On (Esoteric/Southbound)

Hawklords: 25 Years On (Esoteric/Southbound)

This will be reasonably brief because there is perhaps a limited audience for this double CD reissue of the '78 album and EP by an off-shoot of the sci-fi prog-rock band Hawkwind. Inspired by... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Sharon Finn of Pajama Club

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Sharon Finn of Pajama Club

Sharon Finn has a successful life outside music (her own chandelier and decorative fittings company Sharondelier) but when the kids left home and she and her husband found they had time on their... > Read more