Bass hero Charlie Haden has lately become a master of the jazz mood album—in the best sense of that phrase.
Bass hero Charlie Haden has lately become a master of the jazz mood album—in the best sense of that phrase. Whether it's albums with Quartet West, duet discs with pianists Kenny Barron and Hank Jones, or his gorgeous Beyond the Missouri Sky hit with guitarist Pat Metheny, Haden regularly produces artfully conceived, masterfully played concept records. Here—in league with Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba—Haden presents a set of twilight boleros by the cream of Latin American songwriters (plus a few by the leaders). The material is full of lovely, sotto voce melodicism, and the songs are aptly served by subtle performances from the leaders, drummer Ignacio Berroa, guest horn men Joe Lovano and David Sanchez, violinist Federico Britos Ruiz, and Metheny. Metheny offers an especially lyrical solo on María Teresa Lara's Noche de Ronda, and Ruiz shines on several tracks. In a perfect world, the sun would never rise without some jazz radio station having played Nocturne in its entirety.—BB