...but, but, but. Between them Haden and Jarrett have appeared on some of the most groundbreaking jazz releases of all time. Try Coleman's debut "The Sound of Jazz to Come" and Jarrett's "the Koln Concert" for mere starters. "Jasmine" has already become an historical footnote for being the first union between the two great men in 33 years. However, I am afraid that the current ECM newsletter which begins "If you buy only one album this year" is rather overplaying the significance of this collection of standards. Call me slightly cynical but if Eicher thought he had something wondrous on his hands he would not have waited three years to release this music.
Lest there be any doubt, the playing is first rate. I can live without the jaunty "No Moon At All" with its walking bassline but "For all we know" is a wonderful opener, suggestive, undemonstrative and at once immediately welcoming and reassuring. The closing "Don't Ever Leave Me" is an affecting and affectionate conclusion and the highlight for me is "One Day I'll Fly Away" which is truly beautiful, full of simple but profound love and affection proving that restraint is not a foreign concept to Jarrett. However, for all this beauty, I cannot help but feel that these two great musicians are playing ever so slightly within themselves. Jarrett speaks in the liner notes "These are great love songs played by players who are trying, mostly, to keep the message intact." In the notes to "the Vienna Concert" he aimed (and achieved) rather higher: "I have courted the fire for a very long time, and many sparks have flown in the past, but the music on this recording speaks, finally, the language of the flame itself." In short, listen, enjoy and yearn for more