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

SEB ROCHFORD OF POLAR BEAR INTERVIEWED (2010): Always give a job to a busy man

SEB ROCHFORD OF POLAR BEAR INTERVIEWED (2010): Always give a job to a busy man

For a man who can make a big noise and very often, drummer Seb Rochford of the innovative UK jazz quartet Polar Bear (and many other side-projects) is very quietly spoken. It is 10.30am and... > Read more

Auckland Jazz Orchestra: Darkly Dreaming (SDL Music)

Auckland Jazz Orchestra: Darkly Dreaming (SDL Music)

Launched during the recent Auckland Jazz Festival but its arrival catching Elsewhere at an especially busy time, this album deserves serious consideration for a number of reasons. And whether... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

BACK TO BLACK (2014): 12 inch vinyl, a Sign o' The Times

BACK TO BLACK (2014): 12 inch vinyl, a Sign o' The Times

At last! Although seriously serious old Beatles' fans didn't have long to wait. Just fortysomething years after the band broke up . . . but a mere five years since their albums... > Read more

Joe Bonamassa and band; Auckland Town Hall, September 12 2014

Joe Bonamassa and band; Auckland Town Hall, September 12 2014

When Tina Turner was filling stadia in the late Eighties I had the misfortune of seeing her twice in quick succession. But let's be clear, Turner was exceptional and although she delivered the... > Read more