CD Review: Keith Jarrett/Charlie Haden "Last Dance"

The long-awaited follow-up from this incomparable tandem of great American songbook interpreters has an arguably better song selection than 2010’s Jasmine.
By Chris Jisi ,

The long-awaited follow-up from this incomparable tandem of great American songbook interpreters has an arguably better song selection than 2010’s Jasmine. Actually, both albums were culled from the same, special 2007 sessions, and Last Dance has two alternate takes of Jasmine songs (“Where Can I Go Without You” and “Goodbye”). Not too far into the opener, “My Old Flame,” it becomes clear that Jarrett’s high-arching jaunts of piano genius are achievable thanks to the inexorable foundation of Haden’s upright. Using his huge ears to create the telepathic interplay that has become the Haden/Jarrett trademark, Haden strolls along in medium two-feel on “My Ship” and “Round Midnight” before the two enthusiastically tackle Bud Powell’s uptempo “Dance of the Infidel.” Elsewhere, thanks to liberal reference to the melodies, Haden’s most expressive solos occur on “It Might as Well Be Spring” and the aforementioned “Without You.” Given Haden’s recent health problems, this set is both timely and timeless.