Charlie Haden


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Gitane Review

by Brian Olewnick

During the late '70s, Charlie Haden recorded all manner of duo sessions with musicians ranging from Ornette Coleman to Keith Jarrett, but one of the more unusual was this one with gypsy guitarist and Django Reinhardt devotee Christian Escoude. Not odd because of musical incompatibility; indeed, these two mesh together quite well. It's just that the two come from such different backgrounds that one might suspect they'd be unlikely to meet, much less think about playing together. But this album made up largely of Reinhardt covers works quite well, Haden playing with romantic fervor and Escoude not merely aping his idol, but playing in a relaxed and timeless manner. Beginning with an almost funky rendition of the John Lewis homage "Django," the musicians feel quite at home with the material and each other, never venturing too far from the themes and listening intently. The title track, a bass solo by Haden, is a special gem. A warm, unhurried session, one that Haden fans will enjoy for both his prominence and creativity as well as for Escoude's carefully considered contributions.

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