Charlie Haden: Land of the Sun (2004)
Bassist Haden teams up once again with pianist Gonzalo Rubalcala, his collaborator on the Grammy-winning Nocturne. Rubalcalaa facile and fluid pianist, with a penchant for delicate beautywrote the arrangements here, and proves himself a superlative artist in that arena, too. He weaves flute, saxophones, guitars and trumpet into the piano trio sound with an extraordinary grace and suppleness; and the individual soloists, Rubalcala included, rise to the occasion. This music flows like a dream, anchored by drummer Ignacio Berroa, with a good deal of subtle brushwork; and Juan De La Cruz, who delivers a soft and succinct bubbling of bongo percussion to the mix.
The set's opener, "Fuiste Tu (It Was You)," tinkles in on the pianist's light touch, a music box delicacy in his notes as Marroquin's melody floats along into a slightly tart and introspective alto sax solo by Miguel Zenon. And that sets the tone for the sound. Gorgeous ballads delivered in a dreamy time suspension, with elegance and grace.
This sound is a long way from my first encounter with Charlie Haden on Ornette Coleman's Free Jazz , that fervid, fractious, fabulous cacophony from 1960. On Land of the Sun his bass is suffused with a great expansive substance and insistent yet gentle and unobtrusive weight, anchoring a work of understated, shameless loveliness strewn with supple soloing from tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano, alto saxophonist Miguel Zenon, flautist Oriente Lopez, trumpeter/flugelhornist Michael Rodriquez, and guitarists Larry Koonse and Lionel Louke.
Charlie Haden has brought together a group of first-rate musicians and a batch of elegant Marroquin songs (plus two), and he's made magic.
Track Listing: Fuiste Tu, Sueno Solo Con Tu Amor, Cancion De Cuna, Solomente Una Vez, Nostalgia, De Siepre, Anoranza, Cuando Te Podre Olvidar, Esta Tarde Vi Llover, Paolo's Song
Personnel: Charlie Haden—bass; Gonzalo Rubalcala-piano; Ignacio Berroa—drums; with: Joe Lovano—tenor saxophone; Miguel Zenon—alto saxophone; Michael Rodriquez—trumpet, flugelhorn; Oriente Lopez—flute; Larry Koonse, Lionel Louke—guitar; uan De La Cruz—percussion
Record Label: Verve Music Group
Style: Modern Jazz