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Charlie Haden - Sophisticated Ladies (2010)

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Charlie Haden - Sophisticated Ladies (2010)

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1 	If I'm Lucky (Vocals – Melody Gardot)	5:41
2 	Sophisticated Lady	4:28
3 	All Wind    (Vocals – Norah Jones)	4:25
4 	Today I Am A Man	5:23
5 	My Love And I    (Vocals – Cassandra Wilson)	4:14
6 	Theme From "Markham"	4:40
7 	Let's Call It A Day    (Vocals – Ruth Cameron)	5:52
8 	Angel Face		4:08
9 	A Love Like This    (Vocals – Renée Fleming)	5:13
10 	My Old Flame	5:35
11 	Goodbye    (Vocals – Diana Krall)	5:48
12 	Wahoo	4:52

Double Bass, Arranged By [Quartet], Producer – Charlie Haden 
Drums – Rodney Green 
Piano, Arranged By [String Orchestra], Conductor [String Orchestra] – Alan Broadbent 
Tenor Saxophone – Ernie Watts 

 

Bassist extraordinaire Charlie Haden has always prized diversity in his music, whether reaching for the outer limits with Ornette Coleman a half-century ago, leading his own experimental Liberation Music Orchestra or, in 2008, celebrating his roots in what's now called Americana on Rambling Boy, a Grammy-nominated album that featured contributions from Elvis Costello, Béla Fleck, and others. As they mark their 25th year together, Haden's Quartet West -- not so much a side trip at this point as a comfy base to occasionally return to -- offers up Sophisticated Ladies, a collection split between collaborations with superstar female vocalists and rich instrumentals, nearly all of it heavily orchestrated. The set expands upon the concept Haden first explored in 1999 on The Art of the Song, which utilized vocalists Shirley Horn and Bill Henderson on various film songs and standards. This time, with tenor saxophonist Ernie Watts, pianist/arranger Alan Broadbent (both mainstays of the quartet), and drummer Rodney Green, Haden goes for a lush, all-embracing sound that suggests a warm, cozy mood that reflects a time -- which may or may not ever have existed -- when life was much less hectic. The recording largely pays tribute to the romantic balladry of the mid-20th century, and Haden's choices of both material and guest artists allow him to bring that concept to fruition gloriously. Diana Krall, leading the back-to-back "Goodbye" and "Wahoo," closes out the album: the first is a whispery take on the Gordon Jenkins number that served as Benny Goodman's theme song, and the latter an uptempo swinger written by Benny Harris. Norah Jones was a natural pick for a set that values classiness and sensuality, and her "Ill Wind," penned by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler and arranged by Haden, exudes a smoky nightclub ambience, Broadbent's piano lending a blues touch to Jones' soothing delivery. Cassandra Wilson is another inspired pick, and her interpretation of Johnny Mercer's "My Love and I," bathed in strings and elegance, is a highlight of the set. The album's other vocal performances -- by Melody Gardot, Renée Fleming, and Ruth Cameron -- are also memorable, but not to be overlooked are the non-vocal tracks. Hank Jones' bluesy "Angel Face" is simultaneously sweet and melancholy, while Steve Khun's fiery "Today I Am a Man" is the swingingest number here. And of course, Haden couldn't very well title his album Sophisticated Ladies without including Duke Ellington's "Sophisticated Lady," which matches Watts' bold saxophone licks to another luxuriant orchestration. Sophisticated Ladies does fall just short at times of mimicking a brand of saccharine faux-post-big-band jazz that flourished in the '50s and early '60s, but Haden and his team are too masterful to allow their tribute to lose its stylishness and, of course, its sophistication. ---Jeff Tamarkin, AllMusic Review

 

 

Recepta na taki album jest prosta : bierzemy standardowy kwartet jazzowy, dokładamy sekcję smyczków oraz subtelne, popularne wokalistki. Można by i tak spojrzeć na najnowszy album jazowego kontrabasisty Charliego Hadena gdyby nie jego absolutny perfekcjonizm w realizacji nawet najbardziej ( muzycznie i stylistycznie ) karkołomnych pomysłów. Z jednej strony mamy awangardzistę z jazzowej orkiestry Carli Bley – JCOA, z drugiej jego modern –jazzowe dekady z najważniejszymi jazzu, ale także muzyczne ucieczki w stronę country ( album „ Rambling Boy” ) czy pieczołowicie pielęgnowany, wieloletni (założony w 1987 roku ) projekt Quartet West. Dla Hadena jazz nie jest awangardowym monolitem, stąd coraz częściej porusza się w rejony akustycznego brzmienia oraz eksperymentów w najróżniejszych stylistykach. Albumy z Quartet West, są tego najdoskonalszymi przykładami. To właśnie z tym zespołem ( saksofonista Ernie Watts, pianista Alan Broadbent i perkusista Rodney Green) basista proponuje zestaw, jaki powinien być obowiązkowym nagraniem dla tych wszystkich, dla których jazz jest nie do zaakceptowania. Kwartet Hadena znany jest z romantycznego i pełnego uroku podejścia do muzyki synkopowanej a sam basista uznawany jest za mistrza kontrabasu i za jednego z najważniejszych muzyków i kompozytorów jazzowych. Na najnowszej płycie pojawiają się znamienite wokalistki : Cassandra Wilson, Diana Krall, Melody Gardot, Norah Jones, Renee Fleming oraz żona Charliego – Ruth Cameron.

Album „ Sophisticated Ladies ” to balsam na uszy i zawirowany świat, to zestaw przepięknych brzmień jazzowego kwartetu wzbogacony subtelnościami orkiestry smyczkowej. Jeśli do tego dodać przepiękne standardy, z gracją i miłością wyśpiewane przez najpopularniejsze i najważniejsze wokalistki dzisiejszego jazzu to mamy zestaw, jaki staje się obowiązkowym w naszych płytotekach. ---Dionizy Prątkowski, jazz.pl

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