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Originally released as two individual Naim titles in 1994, Charlie Haden's Private Collection Vol 1 & 2 were limited to 2,200 copies each and sold through Naim's UK Hi-Fi retailers. Re-released in celebration of Haden's 70th birthday, the release also marks Naim repertoire spanning 20 years of Haden's career, with material that has never been available for mass consumption.
The material, fused together in this superb double digipack, designed by Singaporean artist Yuki Chong, now appears re-mastered courtesy of life-long friend Ken Christianson, who produced the original True Stereo recordings of both concerts. CD1: Charlie Haden 50th Birthday Concert, August 6th 1987 Recorded at `At My Place' Santa Monica, California, USA An intimate and private concert in which an astounding line-up of Haden (bass), Ernie Watts (sax), Alan Broadbent (piano) and Billy Higgins (drums), perform a range of classics by Metheny, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and more. CD2: Charlie Haden with Quartet West, April 4th 1988 Recorded live at Webster University, St Louis A magical Missouri homecoming show, with an indomitable line-up featuring two members of Haden's Quartet West (Broadbent & Watts) and old friend Paul Motian (with whom Haden formed the rhythm section in both Keith Jarrett Trio and American Quartet in the late 60s.)
The Guardian These two CDs, originally released separately, have been reissued together to commemorate the American bassist/composer Haden's 70th year - also the occasion for Verve's Best of Quartet West compilation, reviewed last month. The Verve disc picked from all Haden's moody, film noir-inflected Quartet West albums. The feel here is both more intimate and heatedly spontaneous, and likely to exert a particularly strong pull for audiences at the quartet's acclaimed opening show at the recent London jazz festival. Half the music is from a recorded private birthday gig for Haden in 1987, with a spookily yearning-sounding Ernie Watts on sax and a cymbal-tingling Billy Higgins on drums (recorded very upfront) on an unusual Quartet West repertoire that includes two full-on Charlie Parker fast boppers, a twisting account of Miles Davis' Nardis, and a lovely version of Pat Metheny's Farmer's Trust. The second CD, from a 1988 public concert, reflects Quartet West's more familiar restraint, reprising Farmer's Trust more delicately (but with less mystery), smouldering on a 20-minute version of Ornette Coleman's Lonely Woman, and featuring Haden at his majestically deliberate best on long bass explorations in Silence, and Body and Soul.
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