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Veteran bassist Charlie Haden's long had an affection for the duo format and has recorded with partners as diverse as Ornette Coleman, John Taylor, Egberto Gismonti and Alice Coltrane. Here he's paired with Antonio Forcione, an Italian acoustic guitarist who's made his name on the British jazz circuit through appearances with Andy Shepperd, Trilok Gurtu and others.
Forcione's flamboyant, sometimes flamenco tinged expressionism is a good match for Haden's stately, resonant bass lines. The material is mainly geared towards the introspective, with a particularly beautiful take on Fred Hersch's sprightly "Child Song" being one of the few exceptions. But even then, it's hardly rocking out. Comparisons are bound to be drawn with Haden's collaboration with Pat Metheny, but there's more of an edge to this pairing. That's partly due to Forcione's slightly grittier approach and the unfussy, warm live recording (no ECM style reverb here).
Forcione provides four of the eight pieces, with the remaining three coming from the usual stable of Haden tunes that the bassist seems to bring to every session he does: "Las Pasionaria" and "Silence" and "For Turiya". Haden's solos are models of economy, completely devoid of pyrotechnics but stuffed with melody. His tone here is particularly sumptuous here as he weaves his way through Forcione's plangent chords.
Intimate, emotive music from an eminently well suited duo. More please... --Peter Marsh