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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A band at the very top of their game.
Celebrating 25 years Charlie Haden's Quartet West has released a new album: "Sophisticated Ladies"
Quartet West is made up of the great Ernie Watts on Tenor Saxophone, Allan Broadbent on Piano, and new addition Rodney Green on drums. All members once again join forces with Bassist Haden to forge yet another unique look at the "standard".
While "Sophisticated...
Published on 7 April 2011 by jazz for the sky

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Taken aback
I have been an ardent fan of every artist on this disc for more years than I care to mention and played it with eager anticipation.But what a disappointment!All the reviews were excellent.So perhaps I'm not properly attuned to this particular set of arrangements.
Apart from Melody Gardot ,it seemed to me that every singer on the disc found themselves straining at...
Published on 30 Nov. 2012 by cicero


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A band at the very top of their game., 7 April 2011
This review is from: Sophisticated Ladies (Audio CD)
Celebrating 25 years Charlie Haden's Quartet West has released a new album: "Sophisticated Ladies"
Quartet West is made up of the great Ernie Watts on Tenor Saxophone, Allan Broadbent on Piano, and new addition Rodney Green on drums. All members once again join forces with Bassist Haden to forge yet another unique look at the "standard".
While "Sophisticated Ladies" is perfectly balanced between instrumental and vocal tracks. The vocals, especially here take on a very significant role in the presentation of this beautiful release.
"Sophisticated Ladies" enlists the help of some top-tier vocalists including Melody Gardot, Norah Jones, Cassandra Wilson, Ruth Cameron, Renee Fleming and Diana Krall to explore some lesser-known tunes but in a way that you feel like you have known them all along.
Ruth Cameron, Haden's wife, co-produced the effort with her husband and gives an incredible rendition of "Letfs Call It a Day".
Melody Gardot and Norah Jones are stellar and all the vocal tracks shine with a highly understated "sophistication" that Quartet West is so well-known for.
From the classic cover art, reminiscent of the Capitol days of the early 60s, to the open and often lush sound consistent throughout this effort, this is a band at the very top of their game.
Inviting, seductive, and engaging on all levels.
"You can't knock the sheer class of this major-label grand production matching bassist Haden's film noir-inspired quartet - one of the best groups of the past 20 years - with guest singers Cassandra Wilson, Diana Krall, Melody Gardot, Norah Jones, Renée Fleming and Ruth Cameron (Haden's wife, who co-produces).
The repertoire leaves room for instrumental chops from saxophonist Ernie Watts, while Haden's big bass fiddle thumps out the time with authority..." - Phil Johnson

The album debuted at # 3 of the Billboard Top Jazz Albums. March 2011
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 8 July 2011
This review is from: Sophisticated Ladies (Audio CD)
I saw the quartet at The Barbican a month ago and loved their sound. As soon as I got home I ordered the CD.
I can't stop playing it. The saxaphone sounds so amazing. My favourite track is the first one, Melody Gardot singing an old number, " If I'm lucky." I was lucky as I saw her sing it at The Barbican. Buy this and enjoy!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "S" for that soulful relaxing moments..., 9 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Sophisticated Ladies (Audio CD)
I am a music fan of all genres, well almost all as long as my ears agree with the melody. This is really a thrilling album and one for keep. What makes this even more special are the singers who lend their voices to accompany this marvellous quartet.

I must applaud Charlie Haden Quartet West by carefully selecting and inviting some of the finest songstresses to grace this truly sophisticated album.

Melody Gardot in the first track, Norah Jones with her "Ill Wind", Cassandra Wilson caressing the tune of "My Love And I", Ruth Cameron's superb rendition of "Let's Call It A Day", "A Love Like These" featuring Renee Fleming and finally Diana Krall's "Goodbye".

A must buy!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not far short of perfection, 21 Oct. 2011
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Michael Olin (Norfolk, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sophisticated Ladies (Audio CD)
This album is a privilege to own.

That probably says it all, but in a spirit of helpfulness I ought to explain why. Beautiful songs, superbly interpreted. My favourite is Cassandra Wilson's "My Love And I". I know a fair bit about Johnny Mercer's work, but this was new to me - indeed, as I understand it, the lyrics had not been recorded before.

Alan Broadbent's string orchestra arrangements are just right, and the singers are never overwhelmed by them. Further, unlike some string arrangements, there's no hint of syrupiness. As an example, Diana Krall's "Goodbye" is the best I've ever heard her sound with strings.

Half of the tracks are instrumentals. All of the quartet are accomplished and inspired musicians, and I'd like particularly to mention tenor player Ernie Watts, whose work on "Sophisticated Lady" is a good reminder that Scott Hamilton isn't the only tenor saxophonist with traces of Ben Webster in his playing.

Having said that this album is not far short of perfection, I'm not sure what more - if anything - could have been done! This was money extremely well spent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Taken aback, 30 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: Sophisticated Ladies (Audio CD)
I have been an ardent fan of every artist on this disc for more years than I care to mention and played it with eager anticipation.But what a disappointment!All the reviews were excellent.So perhaps I'm not properly attuned to this particular set of arrangements.
Apart from Melody Gardot ,it seemed to me that every singer on the disc found themselves straining at the top of their range .I was left wincing far too often.Fortunately,I still have at least five discs by everyone on the disc ,Have I got it so wrong ?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Music you want to sink into, 14 Oct. 2013
By 
Saracall (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sophisticated Ladies (Audio CD)
I was new to Charlie Haden having heard him for the first time in a friend's house. I bought this CD without knowing too much about it, or having heard it, but this is the most beautiful,atmospheric album I have listened to in a very long time.

Mellow doesn't even begin to describe it - save it for night-time listening and turn the lights down low. Oh and a word of warning: it's way to schmoozy to drive to - you might find yourself feeling just a little too relaxed!

I bought the CD as a present for a friend, but then discovered Amazon Cloud Player which gave me a free digital copy as well so I got to enjoy it for free! The friend I gave it to loved it as well, and I've since bought another Charlie Haden CD.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 10 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Sophisticated Ladies (Audio CD)
Great album - don't know how I missed it when it was first released. Charlie Haden rarely dissapoints his fans !
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love this, 24 April 2014
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This review is from: Sophisticated Ladies (Audio CD)
Just look at the song and artist list - a great addition to my CD collection - haven't stopped playing it!
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