In 2007 Keith Jarrett did a short interview and jam at his upstate New York home with Charlie Haden for Ramblin’ Boy, the superb documentary of Haden’s amazing life in music (go to www.charliehadenfilm.com to learn more). Jarrett and Haden had not played together since the 1976 break-up of Jarrett’s American Quartet. Inspired by the reunion, Haden returned to Jarrett’s home a few months later to play and record a series of duets, mostly ballads from the standard songbook. The result is Jasmine.
Jasmine is soft, sweet, and subtle. It will touch any jazz fan with an emotionally raw bone. Jarrett may be a cerebral improviser of the highest order, but he’s also one of the art form’s most melodic and soulful song stylists, just like Haden. The recording is a bit less polished than the typical ECM release, to appropriate effect. Hearing the duo’s informal conversation over such intimate material transparently reveals the sensitivity required to play jazz at a masterful level. A truly beautiful record.