218 Recommend It!

Charlie Haden Quartet West: Sophisticated Ladies (2010)

By Published: | 17,656 views
Charlie Haden Quartet West: Sophisticated Ladies Gorgeous, poised and inviting. And that's just the sister on the cover of bassist Charlie Haden
Charlie Haden
Charlie Haden
1937 - 2014
bass, acoustic
's latest with-singers-and-strings album. It's a retro design which, like the disc it packages, was inspired by Capitol Records' distinctive jazz-inflected vocal albums of the early 1960s. Your parents got off on this stuff big time back in the day, while you were busy listening to singer Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
b.1941
composer/conductor
and saxophonist Ornette Coleman
Ornette Coleman
Ornette Coleman
b.1930
sax, alto
and preparing for a little therapeutic rioting. But time passes and age mellows and even radicals such as Haden, in 1960 a member of the Coleman quartet which recorded the iconoclastic The Shape Of Jazz To Come (Atlantic), may eventually embrace the appeal of well-crafted songs of romance, sumptuous orchestrations and glamorous singers.

Of the Haden-led Quartet West's various albums in this preservationist, as opposed to revisionist, style, The Art Of The Song (Verve, 1999), made with singers Bill Henderson
Bill Henderson
Bill Henderson
b.1926
vocalist
and Shirley Horn
Shirley Horn
Shirley Horn
1934 - 2005
piano
, is widely considered the best. Sophisticated Ladies is every bit as good. This time out the singers are, in alphabetical order of first names (as the liner notes carefully put it), Cassandra Wilson
Cassandra Wilson
Cassandra Wilson
b.1955
vocalist
, Diana Krall
Diana Krall
Diana Krall
b.1964
piano
, Melody Gardot
Melody Gardot
Melody Gardot
b.1985
vocalist
, Norah Jones
Norah Jones
Norah Jones
b.1979
piano
, Rene Fleming and Ruth Cameron, who with her husband, Haden, is also co-producer. Tenor saxophonist Ernie Watts
Ernie Watts
Ernie Watts
b.1945
reeds
and pianist Alan Broadbent
Alan Broadbent
Alan Broadbent
b.1947
piano
are present once more, but drummer Larance Marable has been succeeded, following illness, by Rodney Green
Rodney Green
Rodney Green

drums
.

The 12-track album is split equally between vocal and instrumental tracks, with all bar one of the vocal tracks, Jones' "Ill Wind," featuring a string orchestra arranged and conducted by Broadbent. Vocals and instrumentals are sequenced alternately, and the disc kicks off with Gardot's "If I'm Lucky." Some of the vocal material is familiar; most of it, though written by masters such as Harold Arlen/Ted Koehler, Edgar De Lange/Josef Myrow and Johnny Mercer, is less so.

On the six instrumentals, unfussily arranged by Haden, Quartet West maintain the ambiance, with concise solos from Watts, Broadbent and Green. Hank Jones
Hank Jones
Hank Jones
1918 - 2010
piano
' "Angel Face," included as a tribute to the late pianist, is an atmospheric slice of noir, and Bennie Harris' "Wahoo" a frisky bopper. Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
1899 - 1974
piano
's "Sophisticated Lady," which alone of the instrumentals also includes Broadbent's velvety strings, is as bewitching as the cover shot.

With top drawer vocals, a virtuoso jazz backbone, immaculate audio quality and engaging liner notes by executive producer Jean-Philippe Allard, Sophisticated Ladies is a delight.


Track Listing: If I'm Lucky; Sophisticated Lady; Ill Wind; Today I Am A Man; My Love And I; Theme From Markham; Let's Call It A Day; Angel Face; A Love Like This; My Old Flame; Goodbye; Wahoo.

Personnel: Ernie Watts: tenor saxophone; Alan Broadbent: piano; Charlie Haden: double-bass; Rodney Green: drums; Melody Gardot: vocals (1); Norah Jones: vocals (3); Cassandra Wilson: vocals (5); Ruth Cameron: vocals (7); Renee Fleming: vocals (9); Diana Krall: vocals (11); string orchestra arranged and conducted by Alan Broadbent (1, 2, 5, 7, 9, 11).

Record Label: EmArcy

Style: Modern Jazz


comments powered by Disqus

Weekly Giveaways

Roscoe Mitchell

Roscoe Mitchell

About | Enter

Peter Lerner

Peter Lerner

About | Enter

Jamie Saft

Jamie Saft

About | Enter

Sun Trio

Sun Trio

About | Enter

Sponsor: Nonesuch Records