Back in 1989, the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal organized several tribute concerts surrounding bassist Charlie Haden and many of his renowned peers. Of the various and sundry combinations put on display, the pairing of Haden with Brazilian composer and master musician Egberto Gismonti was surely the most inspired. Far from a marketing ploy, this duo seemed perfectly logical, considering that Haden and Gismonti had joined forces with Don Cherry a decade earlier to form Magico, a “world music” trio working within the ECM mold. Now for the first time, almost 80 minutes of music from Haden and Gismonti’s Montreal performance can be heard on disc.
Although a democratic spirit prevails, this is clearly Gismonti’s showcase, the lion’s share of originals coming from his pen. On 12-string guitar, he flies up and down the fret board in pyrotechnic displays that evoke a strong folk-like quality, with Haden’s own primal voice proving to be a perfect match. As a pianist, Gismonti’s classical upbringing is conspicuously evident. Overall, the results are both intimate and celebratory.
Track Listing: Salvador, Maracat
Personnel: Charlie Haden (bass), Egberto Gismonti (guitar, piano)
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid. For some reason I remember an arrangement of Hey Jude they did. My first real exposure was Stan Kenton in the Smithville, MO high school gym. Kenton and the band director there were old friends, so he would play there from time to time. My dad took me without telling me where we were going and it was the only show he ever took me to. I remember that Bobby Shew played Send In Clowns and I damn near levitated I was so excited. The huge sound and amazing chords floored me. I believe I was 13 at the time. I immediately started practicing and taking lessons. Music became a passion and nearly a career. I also listened to Dick Wright's Jazz Show on KANU every night. I can't even start to explain what I learned lying in bed listening to Dick talk about jazz. I met him once when I was struggling to put together a solo for Joy Spring playing in a combo at KU. Stopped by his office and asked for recommendations. He showed up at my jazz ensemble rehearsal the next day with a tape with example solos. What a kind man Dick Wright was.
My advice to new listeners is to stop worrying about what music is important and focus on music you like. I spent quite a bit of my music life listening to important music I didn't necessarily like. Must say I have quite a bit more fun now listening to music that I deeply enjoy. Some of it is even important.
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