On September 30, the newly reactivated impulse! label will release Charlie Haden-Jim Hall, a previously-unreleased recording of a stunning duo performance by these two recently departed masters at the 1990 Montreal International Jazz Festival. impulse! is a division of Universal Music France which is distributed by Blue Note Records in the U.S.
“This album documents a rarified journey,” writes pianist Ethan Iverson in the album’s liner notes. “Charlie Haden and Jim Hall knew each for over a half century, played more than a few concerts together, and shared many ideals, but this is their first concert-length recording. It is a major addition to the discography of both artists.”
Upon hearing the recording guitarist Pat Metheny remarked “What a treat it is to hear two of my heroes and my two favorite personal duet partners playing in a setting like this! This is a recording for the ages.”
At first this might seem an unusual pairing – the dean of the avant-garde bass and a fellow that defined mainstream jazz guitar – but Charlie Haden and Jim Hall shared much common ground. Besides the decades of jazz history they each walked on stage with on July 2, 1990, they also both proved themselves to be masters of the Art of the Duo over the course of their illustrious careers: Haden with Metheny, Keith Jarrett, Ornette Coleman, Alice Coltrane, Kenny Barron, and more; Hall with Metheny, Bill Evans, Ron Carter, and George Shearing, among others. Together Haden and Hall bring thundering intimacy and gentle envelope-pushing on this profound series of duos.
Haden and Hall had something else in common as well, an earthiness that grounded whatever they’re doing, something that gives a listener something to hold onto. Haden’s background in folk music is never far away, just as shades of the blues and even folk-like simplicity are within Hall’s approach. Both gents swing—Haden with that big, pliant, supple, buoyant sound, Hall with those lithe, carefully considered lines and often crystalline notes.
The track listing for Charlie Haden-Jim Hall is as follows:
1. Bemsha Swing (Thelonious Monk/Denzil Best)
2. First Song (Charlie Haden)
3. Turnaround (Ornette Coleman)
4. Body & Soul (John Green/Edward Heyman/Robert Sour)
5. Down From Antigua (Jim Hall)
6. Skylark (Hoagy Carmichael/Johnny Mercer)
7. Big Blues (Hall)
8. In The Moment (Haden)