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Complete Black Saint / Soul Note - Charlie Haden Box set, Original recording remastered


Price: £24.94 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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£24.94 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Review

The two albums by the ex-Ornette Coleman alumni-group Old and New Dreams are justly celebrated, but they're entirely outshone in this superb five-disc box-set by three relative obscurities: Silence, a fabulous 1989 quartet with Chet Baker (one of his many last recordings); First Song, a trio of the following year with Billy Higgins and Enrico Pieranunzi; and another trio, Etudes, with Geri Allen and Paul Motian, from 1988. Baker's playing on Haden's famous tune "Silence" represents total jazz heaven. --Independent on Sunday

During the 1970s, left-field American jazz recording was at an ebb, and European companies like ECM and these two Italian labels stepped into the breach. This remastered 5-CD set, which flags up an extensive re-issue programme, captures the sonorous bassist in his full-bodied prime. Two albums present him with the sympathetic ex-Ornette Coleman sidemen of the New and Old Dreams Quintet spiky trumpeter Don Cherry a puckish lead and three are impressionist piano trios with Chet Baker adding wistful trumpet on one, Silences. FOUR STARS --Financial Times

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
SOME GOOD WORK FROM HADEN, CHERRY, REDMAN, BLACKWELL, ALLEN, PIERANUNZI, AND HIGGINS 29 Nov. 2011
By Stuart Jefferson - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Bassist Charlie Haden has been one of the stand-out players on his chosen instrument for many years. I first heard him playing with pianist Paul Bley on a late 50's recording. After that he turned up on a very fine album by the LIBERATION MUSIC ORCHESTRA, among others. This set collects Haden's work for the Black Saint/Soul Note label-all in remastered sound. These are the original albums-there's no bonus tracks, nor is there a booklet-only what information is on the back of the reprinted period album covers. Everything fits inside a lidded, substantial cardboard box. There's album information on the back of the outer box. This is one of several fine box sets recently released by the label featuring, among others (and two of my favorites), David Murray's Octets, and Henry Threadgill in various groups. There's also a fine set by Bill Dixon which more jazz listeners should hear.

This set collects some fine releases by Haden, some sometimes difficult to find at a decent price. The two OLD AND NEW DREAMS sets are, in part, an homage to both Ornette Coleman and Blackwell. They're full of intelligently arranged, sometimes exciting jazz. With Haden, Don Cherry, Dewey Redman, Ed Blackwell (especially), this music is very reminiscent of Coleman's music-very alive and moving. "Old and..." has one track written by Coleman, and the rest are by Redman, Haden, and Cherry. Haden's bass work is very fine, no matter if he's keeping time, filling in open spots in the arrangements, or out front. Needless to say the other band members are equally fine. There's a longish drum solo (which generally I personally dislike) on "Augmented" on the first album, but Blackwell's intelligent use of his drums keeps the interest up. The "Tribute..." album is live recordings in honor of Blackwell, recorded at the Ed Blackwell Festival in 1987. This set contains several pieces by Ornette Coleman and two from band members. This music is imbued with a subtle fire and passion (hear the lead track "Happy House"), and contains some good passages of pure jazz from all the players.

"Etudes", with Haden, pianist Geri Allen, and the fine drummer Paul Motion (who has a box in this series), is more of an Allen recording than Haden's. This set at times sounds like a Bill Evans set-especially with Motion, who played with Evans in his trio. This is a high point of this set, with Allen sounding very good, and both Haden and Motion playing at a high level-not merely as a backup rhythm section. Besides, the group plays a tune from one of my favorite (and relatively unknown) pianists, Herbie Nichols-hear his complete work on the Blue Note Records label. Coleman's "Lonely Woman" is also here. Allen's "Dolphy Dance " is a fine piece of music for the trio to explore. Allen oftentimes plays softly, but her tone still has an underlying power-which makes this set one of Haden's best.

"Silence", with Chet Baker-trumpet/vocal, Enrico Pieranunzi-piano, and the great Billy Higgins on drums, is somewhat of a letdown after the fine music that preceded it. By this late date, Baker's talents had dwindled to a low point-he sounds nothing like his early self. Higgins redeems this set somewhat, but can't truly save these tracks. Haden seems to rise to the occasion here with some very fine playing, along with Pieranunzi, who, likewise, contributes some good keyboard work. He is a little known pianist who has released some good music on his own, and has also played with Baker previous to this set. Tracks include Charlie Parker's "Visa", Richard Rogers' "My Funny Valentine", and Monk's "'Round About Midnight". If you like the piano work here, check out the box set in this series under Pieranunzi's name.

"First Song", with the same band as above minus Baker, is a better representation of this bands playing abilities. Being a trio format, all the musicians get plenty of room to play. The piano and bass both swing when they want to, and on the slower tunes they both play with an understated beauty. Higgins is his usual self-filling in when needed with crisp drum patterns and keeping the others on the mark. This album reminds me somewhat of an ECM recording-it's understated and subtle-maybe to much so for some. There's a couple of well known tunes-"Polka Dots and Moonbeams", "Si Si", and "All The Way". Haden's tunes are also well worth hearing in this context.

For fans of Haden, this is an essential purchase. Others may want this for the OLD AND NEW DREAMS sets. This is another instance where a record label boxes up some fine music for a relatively low price. So, if you're thinking of purchasing this set (and maybe others in this series), I wouldn't wait to long-some of these are already difficult to find. While Haden has recorded other fine albums, this set contains some very good and some lesser efforts. But overall this is another worthwhile set, and fills in a period of Haden's career around his ECM period work and his so-called privately released (hear "Charlie Haden's Private Collection Vol. 1 & 2") material.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Great Bargain 25 Dec. 2013
By Paul Tress - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Great sound quality, including hard to find works with Geri Allen. I hope ECM will release their Old and New Dreams in the future.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
excellent 25 Dec. 2014
By Christian Mentens - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
excellent
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